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Tips for Navigating Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. For many people who have undergone bariatric surgery, the thought of navigating Thanksgiving can be daunting. How do you celebrate a holiday that is centered around food? Is it even possible to enjoy Thanksgiving after surgery? In this article, we will provide tips for celebrating Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery.


1. Plan ahead and create a game plan. Talk to your support system and let them know of any dietary restrictions or limitations you may have after surgery. Try to be specific about what you can and cannot eat. Whatever you do, don't wait until the last minute to start planning. By giving yourself plenty of time to prepare, you can ensure that you have a happy and stress-free Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery.



2. Offer to bring a dish that fits within your post-surgery guidelines, or ask the host if they can accommodate your needs. Thanks to your new dietary restrictions, you'll likely need to get creative with your traditional dishes. For example, you may need to find ways to make them lower in calories and fat, or come up with entirely new recipes that fit your new lifestyle.


3. Fill up on protein and vegetables before indulging in any holiday favorites. Protein is essential for healing and for maintaining muscle mass, and it can also help to control hunger. That's why it's important to eat protein-rich foods first at every meal. 


4. Remember to listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full– it’s ok to say no to seconds or even thirds! It is also important to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This will help your body to digest food more effectively and prevent you from overeating. Try to avoid distractions while you are eating. This will help you to focus on the food and to pay attention to when you start to feel full.


5. Don’t forget about portion control– try using a smaller plate to avoid overeating. Research has shown that people tend to eat whatever is put in front of them, so if your plates are larger, you're likely to eat more.


6. Focus on spending time with loved ones rather than solely on the food. Use this holiday to connect and build relationships rather than just filling up on a plate.


7. Remember why you underwent bariatric surgery in the first place– use it as motivation to make healthier choices during the holiday season. The journey towards your goals is not a straight line – there will be ups and downs along the way. The key is to keep your eye on the prize and focus on the positive changes you’re making.


Overall, Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery may be different from previous years, but it doesn’t have to be any less enjoyable or meaningful. With a bit of preparation and self-control, you can still have a fulfilling Thanksgiving celebration. Happy holidays! For more information on bariatric surgery, visit

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