There are so many family traditions tied to food that have followed us through life. This is why holidays can be tough for many bariatric patients.

Sticking to your recommended eating plan during these festivities may seem impossible but with careful planning, it can be done. Here are some holiday swaps that you can try so you can still feel being part of the celebration without compromising your health goals:

  • Sparkling water (0 calories) instead of champagne (100 calories)
  • Cauliflower mash (100 calories) instead of creamy mashed potatoes (350 calories)
  • Greek yogurt cornbread instead of the traditional cornbread
  • Green beans with lemon and salt (35 calories) instead of the green beans casserole
  • Pecan-stuffed dates (150 calories) instead of pecan pie (500 calories)

Holiday Eating Tips

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is a big life decision and we want to help you continue to be successful with your diet choices after surgery. At Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, we do not just care for our patients before and during surgery; our service continues even after the surgery.

To help you navigate these festivities with ease, we would like to share with you some of these healthy eating tips during the holidays:

  • Stick to your regular eating patterns.
    It may be tempting to skip meals to “save” those calories for holiday treats, but doing so may lead you to overindulge. 
  • Keep the basic rules in mind
    Treat holiday meals like your typical, everyday meal. Prioritize protein, pay attention to your portion sizes, and eat slowly. 
  • Be mindful
    Holidays often lead to overeating as you’re often socializing during these times. Enjoy the conversation and your company but save some time to focus on your food, savoring its flavor and enjoying its texture. 
  • Bring a dish to share
    If another family member is hosting and you’re unsure if there will be healthier options, bring a dish to share. In that way, you can be certain that there will be a healthy option in the gathering. 
  • Drink plenty of water
    Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid alcohol as much as possible as they’re often full of empty calories.

If you find yourself eating more treats than what you intend to, forgive yourself and move on. Remember, committing to a healthier eating pattern is a process. Just because you overindulge in one occasion or two doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You have more days ahead of you to reset.