Christmas is here once again. Bringing the warmth and love of family and friends together. It’s a special time for bonding and reflecting on the year we just endured. The holiday season can bring out the best or worse in us. To help make your holiday season a little bit better, here are some simple tips for a healthier you.

Stay Hydrated and Drink Water

1. Stay hydrated

Water is always important for our bodies – especially with the risk of dehydration after bariatric surgery. Making sure we get enough through the day is vital for our bodies to function. Avoiding sugary drinks and empty calories will always be better for the digestive system.

Always remember to drink a minimum of 48 to 64 ounces per day!

Unconscious Eating

2. Avoid unconscious eating

Staying clear from the buffet table or kitchen is one way to avoid temptation. Your body may still be adjusting to its new stomach, and having foods that you’re not ready for can lead to dumping syndrome. Have a strategy to avoid overeating and put your weight maintenance above all else. Less is usually more than enough.

Watch Your Portions

3. Watch your portions

You already feel full quicker than before surgery. A few booze, awkward conversation, or family drama can easily revert you back to old habits. Don’t use eating as a crutch and be mindful of not filling up your plate.

We normally eat with our eyes first. That’s why having the right macronutrient portions is better than having too much on your plate.

Avoid or limit alcohol

4. Avoid or limit alcohol

You may have already noticed that your alcohol tolerance has changed quite drastically since surgery. Many patients can get drunk with very minimal amounts of alcohol. Be mindful of your drinks and how your body reacts. Alcohol is the “triple whammy” of mistakes during the holiday season. It’s the domino effect that can quickly cause you to eat more and lose focus on your ultimate weight loss goal. Don’t risk it. Revision surgery is expensive and has lower success rates than first-time bariatric procedures.

Eating and Drinking Slowly

5. Eat & drink slowly

Avoid uncomfortable stomach aches and pains by eating and drinking at a slow pace. Take small bites and eat protein first. It takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes to feel full once you start eating. Pace your food out so you don’t stretch your pouch or cause stomach discomfort.

Make a Healthy Bariatric Surgery Dish

6. Make a healthy dish

If you’re going to a gathering, bringing a healthy homemade dish is always a good idea. For my family, no holiday season goes according to plan. So stay safe with your own fallback options if all else fails.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

7. Aim for fruits and vegetables

Many fruits are low in calories and provide nutrients and fiber that can be filling. Don’t be afraid to enjoy some vegetables as well and try mixing some dip to add a bit of flavor.

Avoid Snack Food

8. Avoid the “snack” bowls

The snack bowl is the last place you want to be. It’s best to avoid temptation and steer clear of the chips, candies, and other sweet and salty goodies. Your stomach will thank you.

Bariatric Surgery Soup for Holiday

9. Soup is a good choice

Healthy soup is an easily digestible and delicious dish that your friends and family can enjoy. This could make it much easier for your digestive system to process without causing too many complications.

Patients having diner in Tijuana, Mexico

10. Enjoy yourself

Might be the hardest thing to do at times but remember that you’re going through a journey that only you can control. This holiday takes some time to reflect on your self-improvement and realize that this is only the beginning of your new healthier life.