Your Bariatric Guide to a Happy, Healthy Christmas

by Brenda Hoehn on Aug 24, 2023

Your Bariatric Guide to a Happy, Healthy Christmas

Your Bariatric Guide to a Happy, Healthy Christmas

Whether you’ve recently had bariatric surgery or are years out, Christmas can be a difficult time to stay on track and prioritize your health. You’ll have to practice self-discipline and mentally prepare yourself for holiday events.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this Christmas season, don’t worry. This guide will list some tips to help you manage your health while enjoying everything the holidays offer.

Protein First!

One of the essential rules after bariatric surgery is to consume enough protein throughout the day. This applies even during Christmas celebrations.

At every meal, eat your protein first. Along with doing great things for your body, filling up on protein first may help you feel full faster, keep you satiated longer, and regulate blood sugar levels.

By prioritizing protein, you can keep your cravings at bay. This will help stop you from reaching for sweet treats, which can lead to sugar spikes and episodes of dumping syndrome.

Don’t Save Calories

Even if you know there’s a big Christmas dinner later in the day, stick to your regular eating habits. “Saving” calories is the perfect way to set yourself up for a binge, which is the last thing you want.

Plus, if your doctor has cleared you to indulge in a glass or two of alcoholic drinks, eating well-rounded meals during the day will help you manage the effects of alcohol on your body.

Stay Hydrated

Generally, if you’re within one year of having had your bariatric surgery, it’s recommended that you avoid alcohol altogether. Those who can tolerate some alcohol should stick to only one or two standard drinks.

Alcoholic drinks are empty calories, and they can induce hunger. So, if you want something more exciting to sip on throughout the night, try putting some low-calorie drink options in a fancy glass, such as:

  • Ice water with fresh mint and lime,
  • homemade lemonade,
  • or low-fizz kombucha.

For more ways to make ice water more appealing, please view Mercy Bariatrics’ “Healthy Christmas Drink Choices.”

Keep Exercising

Trying to fit workouts around Christmas festivities can be challenging, but you can do many little things to keep your body moving.

First and foremost, try your best to fit some of your routine workouts in. However, even walking after a meal is helpful, especially if you consume more sugar and carbs than you usually do.

Walking can help increase your energy levels, leaving you feeling more refreshed and less sleepy. It will also help you manage blood sugar levels, lessening the chances of experiencing a sugar crash later.

Capture Memorable Moments

If your focus during holiday events was on food in years past, you must break that habit. Instead of putting all your energy into the food aspect of the celebrations, be the person that makes the memories.

Take pictures and find creative ways to use the photos to share with loved ones. Shutterfly is an excellent resource for creating custom photo books that you can keep for yourself or send out as gifts after the holidays.

For many people, 2022 is the first year since 2019 that they have had a chance to have a larger gathering with their loved ones. Christmas is a special time of year, but after the past few years, this year’s festivities are even more significant.

Photo books will be reminders of this year’s holiday celebrations for years to come and reinforce how important it is to make time to be with loved ones.

One Day with Multiple Events

Say you have two events in one day that involve eating and drinking. Pick one event where you indulge in something sweet or an alcoholic drink.

For the other event, treat the meal as if it were a regular meal. You can even prepare a dish (or more) to share, so you know some food selections will keep you on track to maintain your health.

You can also call the host before the event and ask what they plan to serve. If it doesn’t meet your dietary needs, let the host know you’ll bring your own meal. You can still attend the occasion and enjoy the party without derailing your diet.

Fight Peer Pressure

There may be some people who may try to talk you into having just one more bit of dessert or a dish from dinner. While this may be their way of wanting to make their guests feel comfortable and well taken care of, it does the opposite for bariatric patients.

When you feel pressured or tempted to cross the dietary boundaries you’ve set, remind yourself of your ultimate goal.

When you embarked on your bariatric journey, you did so to take back control over your health, body, and life. Politely decline when you feel pressured to eat more than you know you should or feel comfortable with.

You can even explain that you appreciate your loved one’s offer to include you in the festivities but that it’s better for your health if you stick to your plan so you can meet your goals.

Look For Bariatric Christmas Recipes

Christmas cooking while following a bariatric-friendly guideline doesn’t have to be complicated. There are recipes for everything you can think of that make up the different components of a Christmas meal.

For some creative bariatric holiday cooking recipes, please view the following PDFs created by ProCare Health:

There are also many bariatric blogs and support forums you can draw inspiration from when the time comes to put your chef’s hat on.

Don’t Forget About Your Vitamins with ProCare Health

While the Holidays may allow you to take a break from your usual routine, you must continue taking your vitamins daily.

At ProCare Health, we carry everything you could need.

Our products range from:

If you need some extra support during this holiday season or are preparing to step into the New Year on the right foot, visit our Crowdcast channel, where we host virtual support groups and educational events throughout the year. You can view recordings of past events and mark your calendars for any future events.

Everyone at ProCare Health wishes every patient within the bariatric community a wonderful Christmas. We hope our guide helps eliminate any stress or anxiety you may have so you can finish the year as happy and healthy as possible.