Many people opt to have weight loss surgery such as bariatric or gastric bypass before the new year. While it’s great to get a head start on your weight loss resolutions, dealing with your new body post-surgery during the holidays can be overwhelming. Temptations are high and the influences of the season can be hard to turn down. This time of year can also be stressful in general, with family gatherings, gift buying and travel going on!
However, no matter the time of year it is important to remember that surgery won’t change your life all on its own. Weight loss surgery isn’t the solution, it’s a tool on your journey that you must learn to master. And by the master, I mean learning to eat the right foods, exercise and learn what is right for your body. At holiday time, that can be pretty rough! ‘
Here are 4 tips to help you survive the holidays after weight loss surgery:
Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol
After having weight loss surgery it can be hard to drink enough water because of your reduced stomach size. But water is something your body needs, so it is important you get down at least 2 liters of water each day. Without water, you could suffer other complications such as dry skin, hair loss, and blurred vision. Make sure you don’t consume a large amount of water within 40 minutes of eating. This will take up space in your stomach that should be reserved for nutrient rich food! Also steer clear of alcohol and soda, these empty liquid calories will make you feel full before you can get in a bite to eat. Plus, there can be some dangerous consequences that can affect your new stomach and small intestine. Don’t let the urge to get tipsy ruin your journey!
Stay away from foods high in sugar and fat
Calories are to be avoided as much as possible after bariatric or gastric bypass surgery, and during the holidays that can be tough. While you do need some calories, you will be required to consume very few post-surgery. High sugar and fatty foods can bring on vomiting and abdominal cramps immediately after consuming – a condition known as dumping syndrome. Instead of having that sweet potato pie, go for something light such as a diet pudding or shake. Your stomach will thank you later!
For many of us, the winter holidays mean cold weather and no one wants to exercise in that. But after surgery, it is important to begin light exercise as soon as your body allows you to. Walking is the most recommended activity to do following weight loss surgery. Your muscles will likely be stiff, so it is good to get the body going and lose weight faster at the same time. Start slowly with a walk around the yard and then build up from there. Too cold outside? A few laps around the house are just as good, plus you will stay nice and warm!
Be positive and listen to your body
Your weight loss goals won’t be met overnight. But with a good attitude and consistent diet and exercise, you will start to see your body change. Only eat when you are hungry and don’t go over your doctor’s intake recommendations. Stop eating when you feel full and don’t be tempted by foods outside your diet requirements. You will find that surgery may mean you are unable to eat at typical meal times, so listen to your body – don’t eat just because others are eating! At some point, your weight will begin to plateau, but do not get discouraged! Just switch things up – maybe re-think the types of food you’re eating or increase how much exercise you’re doing.
If you have any questions about your diet or progress after having weight loss surgery reach out to your doctor. They will always give you the best advice on what is right for you. Make sure you have a contact for them during the holiday or at least someone who will fill in their place if they leave on vacation.