10 Thanksgiving Tips for Cutting Calories

thanksgivingtable

One of the most frightening days of the year for many WLS patients, Thanksgiving! Taking the fear out of consuming too many extra calories can lead to a day filled with love, gratitude and hope. Being prepared can help you feel more in control and allow you to get through Thanksgiving, and the entire holiday season, knowing you can enjoy the food and the company and still keep your weight stable.

Take advantage of these calorie-cutting Thanksgiving tips:

  1. Prepare yourself mentally to eat the lean, healthy foods first and to give yourself permission to taste (as in one teaspoon-full tastes) of the more caloric dishes served at holiday get-togethers. This way you will fill up on the healthy foods you have come to appreciate for how they have turned your body into a healthier place for you to live and will prevent you from feeling deprived.
  2. The best news about Thanksgiving dinner for WLS patients is that the main dish is one of the best things for you – as long as you chew it thoroughly! Naturally, sticking to the lean white meat minimizes the number of calories you consume. If you insist on having gravy, put it on the side like you would salad dressing and dip your fork into it so you have just a bit of the flavor rather than floating your turkey in what is really liquid fat, something you definitely want to avoid.
  3. Another benefit of Thanksgiving eating is that most people do put out healthy snacks throughout the day. Choose the fresh veggies and use low-fat yogurt if you want to dip them in something tasty. A few almonds or cashews are also a healthy choice. If you are going away from home, take these foods with you to ensure you have healthy options available.
  4. Drink water as you visit with friends and family (except for the “no-water” time frames before and after your meal). This way you will always have something in your hand and can sip instead of bite.
  5. Avoid alcohol as it contains a lot of empty calories. There are so many other ways to enjoy maybe a few extra calories on Thanksgiving (i.e., a sliver of pie) and alcohol often results in dumping, never a fun experience.
  6. Use the “white space” technique, which means be sure you see plenty of (empty) white space on your plate, which means there are fewer calories than on an overflowing plate!
  7. Use the WLS eating techniques to consume fewer calories. Put your eating utensils down between bites. Wait a few minutes between bites and enjoy conversation.
  8. If you’re the cook, use low-fat recipes. Make some new “traditional” dishes, which contain fewer calories. Your family probably won’t know the difference. If you are eating at someone else’s home, volunteer to bring a few dishes, which you can prepare using the lower-fat ingredients.
  9. Serve several vegetable choices this year. This will allow you to have a greater selection of food on your plate and still eat healthy.
  10. Use sugar substitutes when making even the desserts. Still consume only small – very small – portions of dessert, but the lower the calorie, the better you will feel, both physically and emotionally.

Write down all you have to be grateful for this year and share it with your loved ones. It’s a great tradition. And after your holiday meal, get the gang up and go out for a walk – even if you live where it’s snowing! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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10 Thanksgiving Tips for Cutting Calories

Thomas

Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

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Nicole

Lost 76lbs

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I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

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Robert

Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

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Samantha

Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

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Eileen

Lost 99lbs

Eileen's success story

It saved my life.

The driving factor behind me getting my procedure was that I couldn't get up off the floor with my granddaughter. That was my why. That was my big reason for having this surgery done. After surgery, it was a little bit of a struggle with what to eat. What you put in your mouth that you don't even think about. You don't think about what you're eating or how you're eating and portion size. It's what I do now every single day. The procedure has changed my life in so many ways. It saved my life.

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Brittany

Lost 126lbs

Brittany's success story

I am totally comfortable in my own skin.

I think I always grew up identifying myself as less than other people because I was fat. I decided to tackle that and just live my life. I had a sleeve gastrectomy. It changed how I view myself. How I communicate with people. I'm able to be much more of myself and live the life I always thought I should have been living. I am totally comfortable in my own skin. You have the tools you need to succeed here.

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Desiree

Lost 157lbs

Desiree's success story

I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before.

I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because I had just become diabetic, and I had hypertension for many years. I lost a total of 157 pounds in 11 months. I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before. Everyone at New York Bariatric Group has been wonderful. They are kind. They are understanding. They make you feel comfortable. They will guide you every step of the way on your journey so that you can be successful.

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