When the holidays roll around each year, it can be a very stressful and difficult time for bariatric patients. You get into a routine with your new and healthy habits, have your meals planned out, and have a new balance with your week ahead. But start to throw in family arriving from out-of-town, or perhaps it’s you who will be traveling this holiday season. Sometimes situations like eating out, going to parties, alcohol and liquid calories start coming up, and you might find yourself throwing in the towel.
Don’t panic! We have five important tips and tricks that could help you navigate this holiday season while still enjoying the celebrations of the holidays with those important to us.
Tips and Tricks to Celebrate
- Plan Ahead and Accordingly: Use a calendar to mark the days you will have a special event. When you see what the month will look like, it will help you to navigate what you need to do. One the “special occasion” dates, it could be work parties, family or friend gatherings, and/or events at facilities or restaurants where you aren’t able to bring in food, be sure to plan ahead by looking at online menus, keeping the 70/30 rule in mind when choosing meals: 70% protein, 30% vegetables. Make food choices that will benefit your small stomach to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients and vitamins that you need!
- Eat Before You Go: Do not starve yourself before going to an event. This could lead to “binge” eating or overeating when you get there. Eat your protein and veggies that will fill you up before you go.
- Take a Water Bottle: This will also remind you to keep sipping water throughout the day. Even through the holidays it’s important to get your 64+ ounces of water in every day. Having your water bottle in hand while mingling can help keep your hands busy and away from the extra nibbles you don’t need. It wouldn’t hurt to move away from the food areas as well if you can.
- Make the Time Special: Remember the special time we have with our loved ones and make it a day to remember. Instead of focusing on the food, gather your family and go sledding! You can watch your favorite Christmas movies, look at Christmas lights, volunteer at the shelter or a church function. You can set up a fun scavenger hunt for the kids that is Christmas themed. Exchange gifts with a fun game, go caroling, play board games or card games, play charades or Pictionary and have a laugh. There are countless things to do to stay active and moving to create special memories to always remember.
- Walk it Off: Don’t forget that exercise is important during the holidays too. There’s no disagreement that the holidays are a busy time of year, but be sure you are still getting up and moving your body. Ways you could incorporate exercise into your day while preparing for the holidays is to take a walk around the neighborhood to admire the decorations. Make shopping for gifts and preparations an activity. Do a few laps around the store, take the stairs instead of the escalator, park further away from the shops.
Remember the reason for the season, whatever that may be for you. Family time, religion, love, laughter, connection, joy, etc. Take time to reflect and take care of yourself. Your life is a gift. You are a gift. Take the time to make memories and spend time with your loved ones. That’s something special to celebrate!
Links to related articles:
Social Tips During the Holidays
Ease Holiday Eating Anxieties
Eating Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
Five Strategies for Holiday Gatherings
Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians
1160 East 3900 South, Suite 4100
SLC, UT 84124