Holiday Feast

Eat, Drink and be Merry: Tips for Eating Healthy Over the Holidays

Holiday traditions with family and friends generate fond memories we cherish for a lifetime. Those traditions, however, often revolve around rich food, jam-packed schedules that deviate from our routines and groups of people who may not embrace healthy habits.  

Americans tend to gain one or two pounds during the holidays each year because of the culinary indulgences we enjoy… green bean casserole sprinkled with French-fried onions, buttery herb stuffing with gravy and grandma’s homemade pies.   

For individuals who have had weight-loss surgery, the holiday season poses an extra layer of challenges. After surgery, patients must be committed to their lifestyle adjustments, which include adopting a whole different way of eating – even during the holiday season. Weight-loss surgery changes how the body handles food, and as a result, patients need to be mindful of how much and what kind of foods they eat. The post-surgery diet is rich in protein and low in fat and sugar with smaller portions. 

10 Tips for Eating Healthy Over the Holidays After Bariatric Surgery

Here are 10 tips for patients after bariatric surgery that can also help anyone navigate the holidays without the “gift” of extra weight heading into the new year:  

  1. Go ahead and indulge but do so in small quantities. Instead of eating a whole plate of cookies, savor two or three delicious bites (after a healthy meal). Some traditional recipes can be made lighter. Eggnog? Try making it with ripe bananas, skim milk, nonfat yogurt and rum extract. Or try a splash of low-fat eggnog in plain seltzer.  
  1. There are plenty of special events, but also plenty of days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day that are normal days when you can maintain healthy habits. Keep exercising because that is also an effective way to handle holiday stress.  
  1. Do not skip meals to save for treats. You are more likely to overindulge if you are hungry.  
  1. Plan ahead. Make sure to eat some protein first, like nonfat plain Greek yogurt, a low-fat string cheese stick or scrambled egg whites to keep hunger in check. Always have healthy snacks with you. Check out all food options before filling your plate to keep portions in check. If possible, take a smaller plate. Keeping your goals in mind makes it easier to attain them.  
  1. Learn to say no. It is best to choose foods that will help you feel your best. Never eat an entrée, side dish or dessert just to make others happy.  
  1. Remember the basics. Pay attention to portion sizes and always start with protein. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Research shows that eating slowly can help reduce the amount of food consumed.  
  1. Don’t linger in the kitchen before dinner; pre-meal snacking puts healthy goals out of reach. Enjoy conversation and company separate from food. Focus on the time together with friends or family and not on the food. Then, when you are ready to eat, focus on what and how you are eating, and not socializing. That way, you are less likely to overeat.  
  1. Drink water and less alcohol. Water will help you feel full and keep you from becoming dehydrated. Alcohol makes you hungrier.  
  1. Bring a healthy dish to share with family and friends.  
  1. Be kind to yourself. Weight gain and weight loss do not occur overnight. Overindulging happens to the best of us, but do not let it completely derail your success. Return quickly to your healthy routine because consistency is the key to good health. 

Why is it Important to Eat Healthy Over the Holidays?

Eating healthy over the holidays is important for several reasons. To begin with, a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables can help boost your energy levels and keep you feeling energized throughout the day. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich foods will also provide essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. 

Everybody can agree that maintaining your health and boosting energy levels over the holidays will help you thrive in the wonderful chaos associated with this time of year.  

Luckily, there are plenty of delicious ways to eat healthily during the holidays without compromising flavor or missing out on fun. Choosing lean proteins, such as fish and poultry, is a great way to get the protein you need without consuming too many calories. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is also important for providing vitamins and minerals to your diet. Opting for whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white can help boost fiber intake, which supports healthy digestion.  

Eating scrumptious holiday food is okay, but just make sure you do it in moderation.

Surgical Healing Arts Center Can Help You Lead a Healthier Life

Surgical Healing Arts Center offers a variety of weight loss solutions to help you lead a healthier life. Obesity is a chronic disease that impacts more than just your weight; it can negatively affect your heart, blood pressure, musculoskeletal system, and skin, among many other things.  

Contact us today and discover how we can help!