The holiday season is upon us. That means gathering around the table to celebrate with family, friends, and food. Lots of food.
For most people, tables filled with indulgent holiday favorites is an exciting and essential part of the season. However, if you recently underwent a gastric balloon procedure to lay a foundation for a healthier lifestyle, the holidays can represent a potential setback. Some people joke about adding a few pounds over the long weekend, but it’s not as funny when you’re serious about needing to lose weight.
The key to victoriously emerging from the holiday season with your weight loss goals intact is to have a plan and to stick to it. It’s critical to develop good eating habits now to enjoy the lasting benefits of your gastric balloon weight loss tprocedure.
Here are 4 tips to help you stay on track during the holidays:
Practice Healthy Eating Habits During Holiday Dinner
If you’re the chef preparing holiday meals, find healthy alternatives for your favorite recipes. If you’re not calling shots in the kitchen, bring a nutritious dish with you to contribute. You don’t have to deny yourself all your holiday favorites, but try to mix in some lighter dishes when making your plate.
Eat a small, nutritious snack and drink water before arriving to the dinner party. The bottomless pan of sweet potato casserole will be less tempting if you’re not arriving on an empty stomach. Because the gastric balloon reduces the available space in your stomach, it’s important to eat slowly and mindfully. Divide your meals into small portions, use a smaller plate—such as a salad plate—and chew your food thoroughly to avoid acid reflux and gastric discomfort.
And after you’ve finished eating, sip a glass of water slowly to rinse the balloon and avoid indigestion.
Stay Active After Eating (And Postpone the Nap)
We’re all familiar with the post-turkey sleepiness that makes unbuttoning your jeans and camping out in front of the football game so tempting. But with the gastric balloon, it’s important to stay active after a meal. Lying down directly after eating can be uncomfortable, so try to keep moving while your food digests.
For most of the year, Baton Rouge weather is...not ideal. But the benefit of our warm climate is that November and December provide us with fair weather relative to other parts of the country. Take advantage by getting out and going on walks after meals. Or split the family into teams and play a game of touch football. Anything that gets you outside and moving is a plus!
Approach the Table at Holiday Gatherings Intentionally
Don’t avoid holiday gatherings altogether. It’s important to acknowledge your temptations to move forward with your weight loss goals. Skipping holiday gatherings to avoid your triggers can lead to resentment and hurt feelings from the loved ones who want to spend their holiday with you. Place the focus of holiday gatherings on something other than food. Make the mission of your get-togethers to spend time with friends and family rather than eating more than your fill.
Stay Positive (Even If You Do Overindulge)
If you do overeat during the holidays, it’s important to stay positive. Find the food trigger or situation that caused the misstep, and use it as a learning opportunity. Getting down on yourself only compounds the issue which can lead to more binge eating.
You’ve already taken an important step toward a healthy lifestyle by electing the gastric balloon weight loss procedure. Instead of viewing the holiday season as an intimidating challenge to your new lifestyle, view it as an exciting opportunity. Imagine the momentum that can be created if you stay on track and avoid overeating when temptation looms the largest.
Combining good intention with the nutrition and exercise coaching available to you through the O.N.E. Weigh program is the perfect recipe for sustaining weight loss over the holidays.