Staying on track with your weight loss goals during the holidays and other festivities can be challenging, but it’s very doable. Proper preparation is the key to enjoying Thanksgiving without wrecking your goals.

Our team at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville has the following tips to help you survive Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery.

The Dos

• Plan your meals
If you’re preparing the meals, make sure you have healthy options you’re comfortable eating.

Making healthy substitutions is a good way to stick to a diet plan that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. For example, you can use low sodium chicken stock instead of the conventional chicken broth when making stuffing or gravy. For recipes that call for heavy cream, you may do 50 percent cream and 50 percent substitution like plain Greek yogurt.

• Eat your protein first
Make sure that you eat your protein first, followed by vegetables, and starches last.

Having a sufficient amount of protein is recommended for bariatric patients for a number of reasons. It keeps you feeling fuller and prevents muscle loss that comes with weight loss.

• Take your time
Chewing your food thoroughly helps slow down your eating and it makes sure that no food gets stuck.

There’s no specific rule as to how long you should chew your food, but try chewing until the food has an applesauce consistency.

• Stay active
Whether it’s taking a walk or playing games, staying active during Thanksgiving can benefit you in a multitudeI of ways. It aids in good digestion and keeps you focused on what truly matters on this festivity.

The Don’ts

• Going to a Thanksgiving meal hungry
Going to a party or event hungry doesn’t always go well. So, make sure you eat a little something before going to a Thanksgiving meal. You may want to have a serving of a protein shake to have a good start with your protein intake.

• Hydrate with sugary drinks or alcohol
Booze and sugary drinks may be hard to pass on in festivities like this, but these drinks will only fill you up quickly.

Skip the booze and sugary drinks and stick to plain water instead.

• Keeping leftovers
Having those leftovers around will only tempt you to eat more than you want to. If you’re hosting the meal, it would be wise to purchase takeaway containers ahead of time so you can hand out the leftovers to your guests.

These guidelines should be able to help you navigate Thanksgiving without getting too stressed. If you’re looking for some support, Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons has a dedicated support group for our bariatric patients. To find out more, you can call us at (865) 984-3413.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.