Thanksgiving Bariatric Style! What your plate should look like at at all stages pre and post op.

Thanksgiving Bariatric Style! What your plate should look like at at all stages pre and post op.

How Are You Going To Survive Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery?

Family With Grandparents Enjoying Thanksgiving Meal At Table

Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for anyone concerned about cutting calories and or controlling their food intake. This festive time of year poses unique challenges to those who have had weight loss surgery including the gastric band, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

What should you prepare or bring to the family’s Thanksgiving celebration?

Prepare or purchase a healthy, delicious menu item that contains the nutrients you will need after weight loss surgery. For example: cook/purchase a protein or vegetable dish. You could make a vegetable platter with a greek yogurt dip, roasted vegetables, bring a cold cut platter or fruit platter for dessert. Prepare something that is appetizing and nutritious that you can enjoy at the  meal and feel less tempted to indulge in less healthy dishes on the table.

Come to the table knowing what you should and should not be eating… Stick to the plan as much as you can!

You will still need to be prepared to say no to relatives or friends who may urge you to try “just a sliver or a taste” of the pumpkin cream pie or rich sweet potato casserole….

Think of this festive time of year as an opportunity to see your family and friends rather than as a holiday to eat!

Concentrate on catching up with your loved ones and fill your plate with delicious and healthy foods! Don’t torture yourself by placing yourself at the table directly across from the desserts. Go for a walk with a family member or a friend after dinner during dessert time to avoid the temptation! Bring a healthy dessert option to the table, fresh fruit is always a welcomed choice after a meal with such heavy menu items.

Alternatives to a traditional Thanksgiving meal:

You can volunteer your time at a soup kitchen or other organization to help those in need. This is a way to share with others and express your gratitude for all the blessings in your life, including the strides you are making to better health!

What to put on your Thanksgiving Day plate!

A step by step guide to help decide what you can eat at your Thanksgiving meal after all stages of weight loss surgery.

Pre- Op Patients (Before Weight Loss Surgery)

The day before Thanksgiving, replace 2-3 meals with a protein shake, unlimited amounts of vegetables and 2-3 fruit servings per day (1 fruit serving= small fruit or 1/2 cup). If you are diabetic with low or normal blood glucose, you may have a serving of fruit with each shake, If you are diabetic and your sugar is high prior to consuming the shake, do not add fruit.

Remember to enjoy yourself on the day of Thanksgiving! You want to create a calorie deficit the day before so you can enjoy the Holiday! It takes 3,500 calories to gain one pound and 3,500 calories to lose one pound..We all know that is a lot harder to lose than gain!!!

What should your dinner plate look like Prior to Surgery:

***Remember to ALWAYS consume your PROTEIN 1st, Vegetables 2nd and Fruit or Starch last!***

4-6 oz Turkey (can add a small amount of gravy)

Unlimited vegetables (except for the starchy ones e.g.. corn, peas, lima beans, butternut/acorn squash)

1/2 cup cooked starch (mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes or stuffing or corn pudding)

A small slice of one of your favorite desserts

Post Op Patients (After Weight Loss Surgery)

Weeks 1 & 2 Post-Op Weight Loss Surgery:

***Remember to ALWAYS consume your PROTEIN 1st, Vegetables 2nd and Fruit or Starch last!***

***Please DO NOT try turkey or gravy 1-2 weeks post-op as it is too dry at this stage and the gravy can cause stomach discomfort and Dumping Syndrome for Gastric Bypass Surgery***

4-6 oz protein shake

1-2 teaspoons of mashed or sweet potatoes ***as long as they are not made with brown sugar, molasses or marshmallows***

1-2 teaspoons of all natural applesauce

Dessert: sugar free pudding or sugar free ice pops or sugar free jello

Weeks 3 & 4 Post-Op Weight Loss Surgery:

***Remember to ALWAYS consume your PROTEIN 1st, Vegetables 2nd or Fruit or Starch last!***

Breakfast and lunch will be your protein shakes (prepare 1 scoop protein powder with 20grams or more protein + 4-6oz 1%, skim, lactaid, soy or almond milk). Prepare 1 shake for breakfast and another shake for lunch (2 shakes/day)

What your Thanksgiving dinner plate should look like:

3oz of turkey, cut up into very small pieces (pinky nail size) and eaten very slowly- do not add gravy

1-2 Tablespoons of either mashed or sweet potatoes- make sure they are NOT made with brown sugar or molasses or marshmallows or stuffing without sausage pieces

Dessert: sugar -free pudding/ jello/ice pops or no sugar added fudgsicles

1-3 Months Post-Op Weight Loss Surgery- (eat as tolerated, you may only get to the protein!!):

***Remember to ALWAYS consume your PROTEIN 1st, Vegetables 2nd and Fruit or Starch last!***

3-4 oz of Turkey ( you can have a small amount of gravy if you have tolerated it before today)

1/4 cup cooked vegetables (or chopped/shredded raw vegetables if tolerated prior to today)

1/4 cup either mashed or sweet potatoes- make sure they are NOT made with brown sugar or molasses or marshmallows or stuffing

Dessert: 1/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit or sugar- free pudding/ jello/ice pops or no sugar added fudgsicles

4 Month Post-Op Weight Loss Surgery or More:

***Remember to ALWAYS consume your PROTEIN 1st, Vegetables 2nd and Fruit or Starch last!***

3-4 oz Turkey ( You can have a small amount of gravy if you have tolerated it before today)

1/2 cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup salad

1/4 -1/2 cup either mashed or sweet potatoes- make sure they are NOT made with brown sugar or molasses or marshmallows or stuffing

Dessert: 1/2 fruit or 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit or sugar- free pudding/ jello/ice pops or no sugar added fudgsicles

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy, Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving Day!!!!

Check out some delicious and weight friendly holiday recipes at:

Bariatriceating.com and Bariatricfoodie.com

Craving the taste of apple pie, but not the calories?!  Try Yoplait Greek or Dannon Oikos Apple Pie Flavor!

If you love pumpkin flavor, Try Chobani or Dannon Oikos Pumpkin Flavored Greek Yogurt!

Pumpkin Protein Shake 

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup 1% (can use skim, lactaid, unsweetened/regular/vanilla flavored soy or almond milk)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or (1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cloves, 1/8 tsp ginger)

2 TBS sugar substitute like stevia or monkfruit

1 cup ice cubes

Place pumpkin, milk, protein powder, spices, sugar substitute and ice cubes in a blender and mix until all ingredients are blended to desired consistency. Recipe makes 1 meal replacement serving.

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