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Two Overweight Women On Diet Eating Healthy Meal In Kitchen

How to modify holiday classic foods to fit a bariatric diet


The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! There are carols, presents and those mouthwatering goodies that only come once a year. A bariatric diet does not accommodate for many of the delicious holidays foods that we’ve developed an emotional attachment to. Instead of avoiding those foods all together, here are some ways to modify holiday classics to fit your bariatric diet.

Eating the right carbohydrates

How you thought about carbs changes after bariatric surgery. Once you begin your new diet regiment it’s apparent how many foods contain hidden carbs that you’ve never considered before. Carbohydrates are a necessary source of energy for the body. Consuming too many carbohydrates is where the problem lies. When the body has an excess of carbohydrates in the body this is converted into fat, which is detrimental on a weight loss journey.

To ensure that you’re eating the right carbohydrates a simple switch between eating simple carbs versus complex carbs is the first step. Complex carbs take longer to digest and leave the body fueled for longer periods of time. For an example, a simple substitute is using cauliflower instead of russet potatoes to make mashed potatoes at the holiday dinner. Another example would be making stuffing with whole grain breads instead of white bread that uses processed flour and sugars.

Remember less is more

Many doctors allow patients to utilize the 3-bite rule during the holiday season. The 3-bite rule is when you allow yourself to sample three bites of a dish, but no more. This fulfills that emotional craving you’ve developed towards certain foods, but not allowing yourself to stray too drastically away from your diet. This might not be ideal for all bariatric patients, so it’s important to have an honest discussion with your doctor whether this is a reasonable tactic to prevent holiday weight gain.

Start new traditions

Holidays are all about traditions, but that doesn’t mean that you can implement new ones this year. To combat those emotional cravings you’ve developed for certain holiday dishes, try getting excited by new holiday dishes. This is a delicate balance of finding substitutes that will fulfill those urges but are healthy enough to adhere to a bariatric diet. For instance, if you are craving a sweet dessert during the holiday season try incorporating a serving for fruit into your meal to curb that craving rather than overindulging. Healthy food can also be delicious, so don’t be afraid to experiment and create a new holiday tradition for your loved ones.

Show yourself some love this holiday season by sticking to your bariatric diet and weight loss journey. By not allowing yourself to get sidetracked you’re putting your health first, which is what you deserve. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones, but find new healthy traditions to incorporate. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.