How weight loss surgery patients can enjoy a healthy holiday
The holidays can be a difficult time depending on what’s going on in your life, and that holds true for weight loss surgery patients still navigating the emotional and physical changes that come with recovery.
The season isn’t always happy for everyone, and emotional eating or eating for reasons other than good nutrition and genuine physical hunger are common for everyone. Marilyn Meade Penrod, RN, offered these suggestions to help weight loss surgery patients have a happy, healthy holiday season:
Take the best possible care of yourself
Don’t overextend yourself socially, financially or nutritionally. Get adequate sleep, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol. Have a plan in place for social gatherings!
Plan for how to deal with holiday meals and treats
“I always tell weight loss surgery patients who are facing the holidays to remember that ‘no, thank you,’ is a complete sentence,” said Penrod. “If someone offers you a gift of edible goods, ask for the recipe, pay them a compliment, but don’t feel obligated to eat everything, especially if the food isn’t part of your weight loss plan.”
You can verbally convey your gratitude for the gift and appreciation for the time and effort put into it. Then pass that gift along to neighbors, coworkers or – in some cases, and only if it fits within safe donation guidelines – donate to a shelter.
Have a healthy snack or mini meal before heading out
This way, you won’t arrive hungry and feel tempted to try out all those high-calorie holiday sweets and treats. Keep yourself well-fed and well-nourished on the healthy foods that provide the best nutrition for your body.
Make time for exercise
“Even if you’re busy, carve out at least 30 minutes a day for a brisk walk to keep yourself active. Even three 10-minute walks can be enough to keep your body moving. Plus, exercise has proven benefits when it comes to lowering stress,” said Penrod.
Overwhelmed? Ask for help
While it might sometimes seem like it, we don’t need certain kinds or amounts of food to truly celebrate our chosen holidays. These stressful days will come and go, and you can start the new year lighter in heart and mind than you did the year before.
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