How to enjoy Christmas after weight loss surgery

Society tends to associate Christmas with over-indulging, but Dr Peter Hamer and his team want to assure you that you can still enjoy the festive season after weight loss surgery. That’s right, you can have your ham and eat it too!

Most people look forward to the holiday season and everything it entails, so if this is your first Christmas after weight loss surgery, you might be feeling nervous about the impact it will have. But if weight loss surgery greatly reduced your enjoyment, it wouldn’t be a viable long-term solution! Instead, we encourage patients to lean into their lifestyle changes, and use them to their advantage.

Here are our top tips for surviving the silly season with your sanity & weight loss goals intact:

Enjoy protein first
This is a rule weight loss surgery patients are already familiar with, but it’s particularly great at Christmas as it means you don’t miss out on the ham, turkey or prawns! Then enjoy the fresh salads and veggies, and finally a small serving of potato salad if you can’t go without.

Guard against portion sizes & snacking
Using a smaller plate will ensure you don’t go overboard, and it won’t look like your meal is smaller than everyone else’s. We also recommend that you try to eat in one sitting instead of grazing across the day. This means one nutritious meal (meat, veggies, salad) eaten mindfully instead of grazing on high-calorie snacking foods such as chips and dips throughout the day.

Treat yourself
What’s Christmas Day without some pav? Weight loss surgery isn’t designed to take the joy out of eating, so if you feel like it (and you’re not full), let yourself enjoy a small piece of dessert. Just try to choose a lighter option, and savour it slowly.

Prepare your responses
Between work, social & family events, weight loss surgery patients often receive comments about how little they’re eating. Prepare yourself for these, and have some replies up your sleeve that work whether you’re disclosing your surgery or not.

This is also a consideration if you’re attending multiple gatherings, or trying to do two Christmas meals in the one day. You won’t be able to eat as much – and people will notice – so having responses ready ensures that you’re comfortable and able to enjoy each event.

Beware the booze
Your body handles alcohol differently after bariatric surgery, so be aware of this and opt for non-alcoholic options. If you do choose to drink, do it slowly and safely.

The true meaning of Christmas
If you tend to associate Christmas with eating, now is the time to find a new meaning to the festive season. Choose to focus on the quality time spent with your loved ones, or on developing non-food related traditions such as volunteering or going for a Christmas day walk.

Remember these tips, embrace your new lifestyle, and your Christmas will be merry!

If you have any questions, please contact our team on (02) 4380 8404.

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