My Bariatric Life Living Life after Weight-Loss Surgery: Portion Control Over the Holidays

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Now that the holidays are upon us, an interesting and yearly phenomenon takes place: Our fingers begin to think independently and scoop up favorite snacks and sweets, popping them over our tongues just ahead of better judgment. Our hands betray us and add an extra or larger than thoughtful portion which we tuck away just prior to regret. But we are more than that now; the discipline and healthy mindset we have built will accompany us through the season and our New Year's resolution might be a promise to continue our December discipline instead of making yet another start.

    I hope the following hints are useful new additions to your holiday plan for success:

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    Drink plenty of water whereas it helps to keep us full. Limit alcohol or avoid it altogether. The same goes for soda.

    Have a strategy prior to attending those Christmas parties. A moderate and healthy snack just before a celebration can minimize hunger, and you can begin the afternoon or evening with a more reasonable appetite. When indulging, small portions of favorite foods are a much better choice than tasting a bit of every available dish.

    Do not station yourself by the serving tables. Mingle away from where the food is.

    The size of the plate matters. Larger plates make the portions appear smaller. Choosing a salad plate instead of a dinner plate will make a difference in consumption.

    Half of your plate should be filled with fruit and vegetables and the other half with protein. Grilled, baked or broiled meat should be the choice rather than fried or coated. Cream sauces, gravy, butter, and sour cream should not be part of your menu.

    Estimation of serving sizes is a skill that can help avoid overeating. A guide for determining proper portions can be found in my Pouch Rules SharePost. Printing out these rules or logical excerpts to keep close at all times would be a useful habit. A few notebook size pages folded away and kept in a pocket or purse will not be inconvenient.

    Controlling portions when eating out is another discipline that will return substantial dividends. Avoid places notorious for oversized servings such as buffets and diners. If such places somehow spring up in your agenda, splitting courses with a friend can be a good solution. A good approach that I have used when eating out is to order a side salad and a protein-based appetizer as my meal. Also remember that once you have become full, stop eating. Simple solutions are abundant and may be overlooked for no other reason than their simplicity. Do not complicate your program -- you are wiser than that.

    Hopefully you have a support group or at least the bones of one at this point. Use those members in it and share your gratitude. A shared success is still a success, and help along the way profits both the recipient and the lender.  It is also acceptable to feel good about yourself no matter where you are in your program. Be the first to congratulate yourself but celebrate without pomposity. Humility is the ironwork that supports the program you have built, and should you lose it you may find yourself in the rubble of what was once a solid effort. Happy holiday and bravo to the success you will have this season!


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    My Story...

    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.


Published On: December 12, 2011