Tips for enjoying fall events as a weight loss surgery patient
Fall brings the arrival of many fun activities including football games and tailgating, festivals, Halloween, and the SC State Fair. As a weight loss surgery patient, you can enjoy these events and not abandon your goals for good health.
Marilyn Meade Penrod, RN, offered some suggestions to help maintain your healthy lifestyle while enjoying these activities.
Plan and prepare ahead of time. Practice a “mental rehearsal” before the event about how you will handle the situation before arriving. Do not leave your home hungry. If you are aware that there will not be bariatric-safe foods available, eat before you leave for the event or bring your own food. This will help you to not feel deprived or become overly hungry, which can lead to making poor and impulsive food choices.
Bring a dish that’s bariatric surgery safe. There are many recipes online, as well as through your dietitian, that you and others who are joining you can enjoy. Lean deli meats and prepared fruit and vegetable trays are great options. If you are planning to watch a football game at a restaurant, look up the online menu before you arrive at the restaurant and make your choices.
Avoid dehydration. Hydrate before you leave home and be sure to have water with you. Many fall days can feel as warm as summer, and dehydration can be a serious issue for weight loss surgery patients. Avoid alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration as well as lower your inhibitions and result in making poor food choices. Post weight loss surgery patients can experience a more intense reaction to alcohol than before surgery. Avoid carbonated beverages of all types. Also, be conscious of the sugar content of anything you drink as sugar can cause “dumping syndrome.”
Avoid trigger foods. If you are planning to participate in Halloween trick or treating, buy candy you do not like. If there is leftover candy, dispose of it or take it to work and leave it in the breakroom for others to enjoy. Leftover snacks and candy can lead to grazing which can contribute to excess calories and weight gain.
Enjoy the outdoors. With the cooler temperatures also arrives the wonderful option of exercising outdoors again. Make it a point in your daily plan to enjoy a walk outside.
Enjoy your company. Keep your thoughts positive and your focus on the event and the people you are with, not the food.
Remember your “why.” Nothing is worth undermining the great steps you have taken to have a healthier and longer life.
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