Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and there are so many delicious dishes to behold. It can be challenging to follow a clean diet during the holidays, let alone any diet at all. When it comes to watching what you eat (especially for bariatric patients), it is highly recommended that you avoid unhealthy habits that can impact your weight loss and successful long-term.

In this list, we share 12 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving! Not just relating to food, but also behaviors that won’t negatively affect your hard work.

1. Bring a Healthy Dish to the Gathering

If you bring one healthy dish that you really like to eat, you have a back-up if every other dish is calorie-packed and completely unhealthy. You won’t just do yourself a favor, but everyone at the table will be thankful!

2. Don’t Starve Yourself Before a Holiday Feast

You will only end up eating more or making unhealthy choices because you are so hungry. Instead, snack on something with protein every 2-3 hours from when you wake up. Snacks should be around 100 calories each so that you fuel your body until it is time to feast. A good example of some healthy snacks is as followed: protein shake, 12 almonds, a greek yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, a cheese stick. These are just a few great ideas for 100 calorie snacks you could go for.

3. Be Mindful

Think about what you are eating before you put it in your mouth. Decide that this is what you want. Don’t eat something simply because it’s there or because someone gave it to you. Remember that everything has possible consequences. It may be okay to eat unhealthy food once or twice, but be aware of the potential bad habits it could create and long-term effects on your weight loss and goals.

4. Do Not Bake Treats as Gifts

You don’t need to bake all those cookies as gifts. This will only make it more difficult for you to stick to your health goals. Consider other DIY gifts that don’t include food, such as makings for tea, DIY face scrub, or lip balm.

5. Exercise in the Morning

Go on a brisk walk to help increase your energy for the day. Stay active and start exercising to prepare for the holidays!

6. Pour the Gravy Lightly

Gravy and other sauces tend to have a lot of fat, sugar, and calories. Try foregoing the sauces or use just a small spoonful.

7. Stock the Freezer with Healthy Meals

Everyone gets busy around the holidays and has less time to cook healthy meals at home. Prepare for this ahead of time by cooking and portioning healthy meals for a couple of weeks to store them in the freezer.

8. Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking

Find healthier versions of your favorite holiday recipes and experiment with new healthier cooking techniques.

9. Keep the Focus on Family and Fun, Not the Food

Try not to make the meal the main focus of the day. Instead, think of an activity to do with your family, such as going for a walk or playing a game.

10. Stick with Water or Sugar-Free Drinks, Stay Away from Artificially Flavored Beverages

Holiday drinks typically contain a lot of sugar and calories. These are empty calories and will derail your weight loss efforts. Don’t give in. Bring your own sugar-free drink to your gathering.

11. Limit the Alcohol

If alcohol is a part of your holiday, stick with one glass of wine and sip on it slowly. Avoid carbonated beverages and any beverages that contain sugary mixers. Here is a helpful guide on how to drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery.

12. Relax, Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

Try not to stress about your Holiday meal. Be confident in yourself. Think quickly about what you plan to drink and/or eat that day and stick to it. The more you think about it and stress over it, the more likely you are to get overwhelmed.

If you eat or drink something that you’re not proud of, don’t beat yourself up about it! Move on and focus on healthier choices next time.

And there you have it, 12 great tips to follow this Thanksgiving! Be sure to check out some of our nutritional tips at
and view pins posted by our dietitian.

Thanksgiving PDF Handout

Healthy Recipes:

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