Thanksgiving comes but once a year
By Krystal Cameron, RD, LDN
While it is true that Thanksgiving comes but once a year, the foods cooked during the holidays are available all year long. Let that sink in for a minute. Sometimes we are tempted to overindulge because we love (insert food such as pumpkin pie, turkey and dressing, etc). While these things are traditionally served around the holidays, if you desire them at another time during the year you can obtain the ingredients at any given time. We live in 2015 in America! It’s time to break away from the habit of “feast or famine” as our ancestors did when our great country was established.
Let’s look at some tips that will help you refocus your priorities this holiday season:
- Eat breakfast! You may be tempted to skip breakfast to store up extra calories during the lunch/dinner meals, but don’t! Eat a breakfast high in protein so you will not overindulge in higher calorie foods later.
- Beware of the “BLT’s: Bites, Licks and Tastes” while cooking: You might find yourself so busy in the kitchen that you are tempted to graze throughout the cooking process. This just sets you up for failure as weight loss surgery is designed to limit the healthy amount of food that is eaten at one time. It doesn’t protect against little “bites, licks and tastes” and these calories really add up quickly!
- Lighten up on the fat and sugar! While most recipes around the holidays recommend certain amounts, the amounts are always necessary. Vegetables/meats can be sauteed in chicken/beef/vegetable broth rather than oil. Reminder that oil adds about 140 calories per tablespoon! Try using sugar substitutes or fruit puree in place of oil in certain recipes. Remember that “sugar-free” doesn’t mean carb free, so still watch the labels. Use fat-free chicken broth to make baste/gravy.
- Watch your portions. As simple as this may sound, survey the display of foods and portion out appropriate portions of each. Don’t go back for seconds. If you have to, remove yourself from the environment. Get up and go to another room, take a stroll outside or simply remove your plate from your view.
- Slow down! Remember that eating too fast can cause nausea/vomiting. If this is your fist post-surgery thanksgiving it may be overwhelming. Fluid loading, drinking 4-8 oz prior to a meal, can help you slow down. Remember not to drink with your meal and for 30 minutes after. If you are in phase 2, don’t forget the 30 minute fluid restriction prior to your meal. Lay your utensil down between each bite to help prevent eating too fast as well.
- Watch the alcohol! Alcohol contains a lot of calories. If you are less than 1 year post-op, we advise avoiding alcohol due to decreased tolerance.