Why Is Protein After Weight Loss Surgery Important?

Why Is Protein After Weight Loss Surgery Important?

Why Is Protein After Weight Loss Surgery Important?

When you’re thinking about weight loss surgery, you may hear the term floating around ‘protein first.’ What does that mean exactly? Why is protein after weight loss surgery an issue? Questions about your new diet in general are common, and particularly when it comes to protein. We explain how your protein needs may change after weight loss surgery, so that you fully understand this terminology. If you have had surgery, and find yourself not keeping up with your protein needs, this article might be a great reminder as to why you need to be on top of it.

What is the role of protein?

Protein comes from the Greek work proteis, which means ‘of primary importance.’

Protein is second only to water in its use throughout our bodies.

Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, linked together by chemicals called peptide bonds. They are found in every cell in the human body. Protein has several vital functions which include providing structure to cells, providing energy, transporting materials like oxygen and waste, and sustaining a healthy immune system. You know, just the basics 🙂

The thing about protein, is that it is used by our bodies, not stored. This means humans need adequate protein intake every day to stay alive and well.

What are the signs of not enough protein?

For the weight loss surgery patient there are a few red flags which may indicate your protein intake is inadequate. These might include the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Excess muscle break down
  • Thinning or fragile hair or loss of hair
  • Swelling of feet and legs (oedema)
  • Changes in appetite (either nausea or increased hunger)
  • Weight loss stall

It is important to check back with your surgeon if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Understanding the focus of protein after weight loss surgery 

After a weight loss procedure your stomach is smaller than it used to be. This means that you have significantly less calories you can consume before you physically feel too full to continue eating. Now that your stomach size is smaller, there is no room for empty calories.

It is important to note, that reducing the size of your stomach does not decrease your protein needs.

In fact, if you have also increased your level of physical activity your protein needs will be higher.

Likewise, being able to consume fewer calories means protein becomes a higher priority.

After your surgery, your surgeon and/or dietitian will confirm your precise protein needs and the right nutrition. Most times, it is important to create a balance to ensure you are consuming the nutrients you need for a healthy vibrant body.

What does “protein first” actually mean?

When we refer to “protein first” we mean making protein a priority. This involves:

  • Building your meals around lean high-quality protein and nutrient dense foods
  • Consuming the protein part of your meal first to ensure that if you do feel full, you have consumed adequate protein in every meal
  • Eating better quality protein – this means you have more room in each meal for vegetables, fruits and other essential nutrients
  • Checking in regularly with your surgeon/dietitian about your protein levels and importantly;
  • Combining your protein intake with sufficient and regular water consumption

Water and protein: the magic combination

While protein is highly important, it is not helpful without adequate hydration. In fact, too much protein when your body is not hydrated can actually stop you from absorbing other vital nutrients. Working on water and protein are therefore both highly important tasks for the bariatric surgery patient. However, hydration takes careful planning after weight loss surgery. It is not advisable to drink and eat together due to your reduced stomach size. 

Staying on top of hydration means drinking small amounts often throughout the day outside of meal times. Your dietitian is a great resource here for helping you plan this part of your new life. Often it comes down to creating new habits purposefully, until it becomes second nature.

Additional benefits for weight loss surgery patients

  • Protein helps maintain and build muscle mass (maintaining protein intake helps prevent your body breaking down your own muscle mass for protein).
  • Higher muscle mass contributes to a better metabolism which helps burn more calories for increased and sustained weight loss
  • Protein takes longer to digest and keeps you feeling full for longer
  • Helps your body function better (better immune system, hormones)
  • Builds strong hair and nails

Follow up is key

The delicate balance of adequate protein, hydration and nutrients is not easy to achieve alone. Good consistent follow up is one of the best ways to stay on top of all of your nutrition requirements after weight loss surgery. Your needs can often change over time, as you lose weight or adopt different lifestyle changes such as more rigorous exercise.

It is always a good idea to check in regularly on your nutrient levels so that you know your current diet and lifestyle is being supported by a strong, healthy body.

Maintaining good levels is most times easier with the help of a great dietitian. They can look at ways to balance all of your nutritional needs. At the same time, they are helping you to personalise a plan which fits in with your lifestyle and diet preferences.

What else do I need to know about weight loss surgery nutrition?

Understand why paying attention to nutrition is incredibly important after weight loss surgery. 

Meal Prep After Gastric Sleeve

Meal Prep After Gastric Sleeve

Meal Prep After Gastric Sleeve

Meal prepping is one of many ways to help sustain weight loss not only after gastric sleeve surgery, but any weight loss procedure. One of the biggest benefits of meal planning and prepping is that it allows you to stay on top of your nutrition intake. After gastric sleeve, the size of your stomach is reduced considerably. This means that getting in the right nutrition is extremely important to ensure optimal health and safe weight loss. 

Meal prepping can also help you to keep to a more regular meal schedule, which is particularly important if you don’t feel hungry as often.

On top of this, having a planned meal schedule, and ready-meals you can utilise, will mean you can work on a less impulsive way of eating, if this is something you have struggled with in the past. It also means you can work more effectively with your dietitian to implement any other specialised eating or dietary changes required in your circumstances.

But just how do you meal prep after gastric sleeve successfully? Is there anything you need to know? In this article, we look at some of the best approaches to meal prep logistics.

Fridge, freezer or pantry?

Pantry

You may find after your procedure you reach for less in your pantry, and more in your fridge, as your need for fresh food and high protein takes priority. However, it’s always a good idea to have a stock of items in the pantry for those days when something goes wrong, and you just don’t have time to prep or haven’t had a chance to get to the shops.

We know that protein is such an important nutrient to stay on top of after weight loss surgery. Canned items like legumes, tomato and tuna or salmon are great to keep on hand in your pantry. A can of tuna can be added to a small pre-prepped salad or vegetables for a tasty and very easy but nutritious meal.

Freezer

Stocking your freezer with frozen fish, frozen vegetables, pre-portioned meats, and of course – meals you have cooked ahead is a great idea. Freezer-friendly meals could include soups, casseroles, baked goods and even complete meals.

When thinking about freezer storage, we can consider freezer size, convenience of defrosting and reducing the chance of ‘freezer burn.’ Light stackable plastic containers or ziplock bags work well as they take up less space and can be defrosted easily. 

Meats can also be stored in containers between layers of freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. Make sure to label all your frozen foods with the name of the meal and date they went in.

Baked goods such as egg cups or high-protein muffins are also great to wrap and store in your freezer for when you need them.

Fridge

When it comes to your fridge, it is not always about storing fully prepared meals. It is quick enough to throw together a salad, or some scrambled eggs or even a curry if you have the basics on hand. However, prepping the whole day’s meals in the morning or night before is a great approach.

You could assemble a couple of salads or an assortment of pre-cooked vegetables in individually portioned containers. Next, prepare and separately store dressing or sauce to throw over. (Those little dressing containers are a great idea for this!). When you’re ready to eat, simply choose your protein and throw it all together. Storing the items separately will mean your food keeps fresher for longer and ensures a tastier result.

It is important to note that all salad and vegetable items keep longer in your fridge stored separately.

When it comes to foods you have cooked as a complete meal and portioned out, in most cases it’s a good idea to only keep enough for one or two days of meals in the fridge. Any more than this, pop in the freezer and get out the morning you need them.

Again, make a habit of labelling your prepped food with the date and the meal.

More fridge ideas:

  • Hard boiled eggs – perfect for salads or snacks
  • Pre-roasted chicken – versatile and economical for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Importantly, freeze any chicken you’re not likely to eat in a couple of days.
  • Unsweetened Yoghurt – add a little fruit or some nuts and you’re good to go!
  • Pre-roasted vegetables – can provide a range of flavour and nutrients to add to your protein.

5 Top Tips for getting started with meal prep after gastric sleeve

  • Try one day first before launching into a week.
  • Find some recipes you’d love to try, write your shopping list and away you go.
  • Choose easy to prepare recipes. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the coming week. Get out of the kitchen and look forward to the extra time you’ll have during the week.
  • Use versatile ingredients. Cut down on your shopping list by using the same ingredients across as many meals as possible.
  • Pick a prep day. If you have a day in mind, and plan for this day, you are less likely to move the day or forget about it all together.

Food quality guidelines

While pre-preparing food is fantastic, food safety should always be a high priority.

Proper storage of cooked food is really important to get right when you meal prep to prevent food poisoning as well as loss of nutrients.

According to the CSIRO’s refrigerated foods guidelines, a cooked meal should be placed into the refrigerator as soon as possible, especially if it contains meat. A very hot meal should be left out to cool for up to one hour. When reheating a refrigerated or frozen meal, ensure it is hot – above 75 degree Celcius. Divide large hot meals into smaller containers and cool in the fridge first to avoid condensation. When cool, wrap or cover the food. They also add, that if you don’t intend to eat the meal in the next three or four days, you should freeze it immediately.

Meal prep is really just about being prepared

If the thought of doing ‘meal prep’ has previously scared you, we hope these ideas can show you that it’s not necessarily about cooking and storing a whole week’s worth of food in containers. Mostly, it’s about thinking ahead, and this starts with planning out your week. Once you have your ideas for the week, look to find big and small ways you can make it easier on yourself to eat good food. This might be stocking your freezer full of go-to meals. Or it might be simply cooking enough for both lunch and dinner. Why not try it out, and share your fun with us over on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

Happy prepping sleevers!

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Can I Drink Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery?

Can I Drink Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery?

Can I Drink Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery?

A common question about life after weight loss surgery, is whether it is okay to drink alcohol. We understand this question. Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable (and often encouraged by friends or family). But is it bad for your health after bariatric surgery? Alcohol can be dangerous, and the bariatric patient needs to tread carefully. Understand why this is so, and whether you need to check your alcohol consumption to realise your health goals after weight loss surgery.

You can no longer metabolise alcohol in the same way

Alcohol absorption is highly variable and unpredictable after weight loss surgery. Before surgery, if you drank alcohol, the presence and digestion of food in the stomach would slow down its route into the small intestine and bloodstream. This would allow a gentler rate of absorption. 

When you have had gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery the size of your stomach is much smaller. It generally does not hold great volumes of food for digestion. Now that your stomach is reduced and able to hold less food, alcohol can pass at a faster rate. You also pass greater volumes into your small intestines, where it enters your bloodstream. (Hence, why most people find they get more intoxicated if they drink alcohol on an empty stomach).

Put simply, as a result of a smaller or bypassed stomach, you can potentially get drunk quicker than you used to. Also, your blood-alcohol levels remain higher for longer. A glass of wine may feel more like 2 or 3 with the new changes to your gastrointestinal anatomy and metabolism.

What impact could regular or high alcohol consumption have on my health?

Weight regain

Alcohol is basically sugar, and carbs with no nutritional value. Sugar is something you are trying very hard to eradicate as part of a bariatric diet. You are also on a reduced carb intake. So why would you drink them all back into your body again? Sugar and carbs in high doses will spike your blood sugar levels and can cause you to gain weight.

Poor food choices

On top of the sugar and carbs in the alcohol itself, you may be more likely to make poor food choices after you’re drinking. Let’s face it. When we drink, we often don’t reach for a salad. High or regular alcohol consumption could lead to choosing fatty, fried or sugary foods.  Drinking regularly, or too often can therefore be a slippery slope to weight regain.

Alcohol use disorder

Some people may be at an increased risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). A recent study found that the AUD risk in gastric bypass (RYGB) patients could be as high as one in five people. There is no conclusive explanation as to why increased instances of AUD might occur. Certainly, higher alcohol levels in the bloodstream may be one cause. Some also suggest it has to do with addiction transference. This is where we replace an addiction to food with another, such as alcohol. With RYGB another possibility is to do with changes to the hormones which deal with reward circuits in the brain.

Alcohol-related health issues

Surgery is a tool which is designed to help you lose weight and increase your chances of a healthy and long life. But excessive alcohol consumption can really disrupt that chance. Liver damage, hypoglycemia, reflux, inflammation of the intestinal tract, and vitamin malabsorption are just a few of the resulting health concerns around alcohol in the weight loss surgery patient.

Habits of mind are key

Weight loss surgery can sometimes result in rapid and significant weight loss in the first 6-12 months. However, this is not necessarily a permanent state. You see, surgery is a tool, one which gives you a head start to change some habits around diet, lifestyle and exercise. But in the end, you must keep going yourself to win the race.

This is true also when we talk about alcohol. You may not see any impact to regular or high alcohol consumption at first, but long-term you will see its negative effects on your life. Alcohol is one of those things which we believe should be best left alone, if possible, for the first 12 months after surgery. Give yourself time to develop new habits around eating and socialising without adding alcohol to the mix.

After this time, you are still best to avoid alcohol, but the occasional social drink may be acceptable for some people. Just remember, you won’t be able to drink the same as you did before and will need to monitor this very carefully. At all times, it is important to check in with your alcohol consumption and keep an open dialogue with your surgeon or GP about your alcohol use.

If you are concerned about your alcohol use, now is the time to bring it up with your surgeon or GP, or to seek the help of specialist services in your State. Here is a resource for alcohol and other drugs services in Queensland.

Want to know more about weight loss surgery?

If you have more questions about weight loss surgery, head to our FAQ page. 

How To Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery

How To Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery

How to Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery

With the summer months now upon us, we think it’s the perfect time to talk about water! It seems like a simple solution to stay hydrated after bariatric surgery – just drink more water – right? But it isn’t always an easy task for patients. Due to the depleted size of your stomach, it can be a little more difficult to consume enough fluids to keep hydrated. You can no longer gulp a big glass of water like you used to. On top of this, some patients find they go off the taste of water, which can also make hydration a little more challenging. 

Despite this, hydration is a critical task for every person, and particularly after bariatric surgery. In fact, dehydration is the principal cause of hospital readmission after your procedure. To avoid dehydration, planning to drink water is key. To help you with this, we’ve assembled some tips and tricks to make sure you keep your fluids up.

Sip, sip sip

Sip slowly and often throughout the day to stay hydrated instead of drinking all at once. Sipping can prevent pain and allow you more room for nutrient-rich food when it’s time to eat. Drinking too much too soon after food can also cause food to empty from the stomach rapidly. Sipping a little and often is the best habit to get into and try to avoid drinking 30 minutes after meals.

Count your mL’s

It’s a great idea to have some gauge as to how much you’re drinking so that you can stay on track. You can set yourself a goal to reach a certain amount by a certain time of day, which will encourage you to sip more often. Grab a water bottle which has a counter on the side to keep a tally.

Set a reminder

Water is that important, that if you’re not remembering to drink through the day you should look at setting a reminder. You can do this on your phone, or you can also install a hydration app on your phone or fitbit to help you sip more often.

Change the temperature

If water is making you nauseous you may find that changing the temperature can help. Try icy cold, room temp or warm with some lemon.

Protein water

After surgery, your protein requirements are also high, and some days it may be a struggle to add in enough of both elements- water and protein. In this case, you can try adding in some protein water. Usually made from whey isolate, protein water can supplement the protein in your diet. So you can see drinking it as an opportunity to increase both necessary elements on those days when you need it. Make sure the type you select is low in sugar and made from a good quality protein which is easily absorbed by the body.

Flavour it up

If you’re struggling with the taste of water after surgery, a little flavour might help. However, don’t go for anything sugary. A little fruit or even herbs will change the flavour and hopefully make it more palatable for you. Experiment until you find your favourite. If you’re adding it to your travel bottle, ensure you only use a glass or stainless steel bottle. Here are some ideas:

  • Lemon or lime and mint 
  • Cucumber and dill 
  • Mixed berries 
  • Fresh ginger

Icy or hydrating treats

Too hot in summer and need to cool down? Some fruits are particularly hydrating. Watermelon is about 92% water and packed full of nutrients. It is great to freeze into iceblocks for the hot summer days. Or a frozen grape is also a delicious summer treat. You can also blitz up some favourite fruits like mango, melon, orange, watermelon or kiwifruit and freeze them into ice cubes to pop in your glass of water.

Failing to plan means planning to fail

Remember, it takes some planning to ensure this part of your new lifestyle is managed, but it is really important you get the hang of it. If you are having trouble, a follow-up chat with your surgeon or dietitian can help you make sure you follow through with hydration goals.

Is it time to book some follow up? Or perhaps you’re curious about whether surgery is right for you? 

Schedule some time to chat with us.

Here are some more tips for diet and exercise which you might find helpful

Meal Prep After Gastric Sleeve

Meal prepping is one of many ways to help sustain weight loss not only after gastric sleeve surgery, but any weight loss procedure. One of the biggest benefits of meal planning and prepping is that it allows you to stay on top of your nutrition intake. After gastric...

read more

Why is Meal Prep So Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Why is Meal Prep So Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Why is Meal Prep So Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Short on time? Don’t let that lead to last minute, unhealthy, meal choices which derail your weight loss goals. Be prepared! Give meal prep a go. Preparing your meals in advance ensures you are eating good food often, no matter how busy you are. It also allows you to plan out your uptake of nutrients to ensure you meet your requirements. Find out how to do it, and how meal prep can enhance your nutritional outcomes post-surgery.

A large number of elements play a part in meal planning, such as time, convenience, and kitchen supplies. Once you get into a pattern of producing a meal plan that works for you, you’ll be pleased you did it. Also, the longer you continue it, the easier it will get. Including meal prep into your regime doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether this is cooking an additional portion at dinner time to refrigerate for the next day, or waking up 30 minutes in advance in the morning to swiftly make something before breakfast. Not only does this save you time during your lunch break – as your lunch has already been prepared- but it also saves you money.

Benefits of meal prepping

You’ll learn about the favourable alterations you can and need to make in your diet and lifestyle from your surgeon and dietitian. We know it’s crucial to follow your up-to-date eating and drinking orders following surgery to get the best results. The temptation to eat whatever you want could be strong, especially after only being on a liquid diet during the first few weeks after surgery. Having something prepared and ready to go should help stop you from making unhealthy choices too often or skipping your meal. Tastes can also change following surgery, and having a meal plan will allow you to incorporate new meal ideas into your regime. Dare yourself to attempt one new recipe a month, and you’ll be amazed at the original ideas you try that quickly become your favourites.

meal prep lunch

How to do it.

  1. Shop with a list. It is best to generate a shopping list with your meals already outlined. Take into consideration what ingredients you need, as well as how much you need of each. Utilise the same foods in numerous recipes each week; this will allow you to buy ingredients in volume and save money, as well as to cook enough to have leftovers.
  2. Shop on a full stomach. Avoid going to the grocery store ravenous, as this lets your hunger control what you purchase and means you are less likely to throw in foods which aren’t nutritious. When you do sense hunger coming on, prepare for this by having healthy replacements on your list.
  3. Shop the rainbow. Include a large variety of fresh foods in your plan, drawing from all the food groups. Trying a new fruit or vegetable each week is a great way to educate yourself about food as well as add variety.
  4. Protein first. When planning your meals, always plan around your protein. Lean options like fish, seafood and chicken are always a great idea.
  5. Use an app. Initially, meal planning may be overwhelming. A way to alleviate yourself from feeling like you are taking on too much is to make use of apps, websites, and support from others. Apps such as Baritastic, Lose It, and MyFitnessPal help track protein and fluid, log nutrients, remind you to eat, and so much more. They are magnificent for holding you responsible by showing you precisely what you are putting in your body each day.
  6. Share your prep. Share what you’re up to with your friends and family. They may also get on the bandwagon of meal prepping. They can also help hold you accountable for your lifestyle choices. This helps give you extra support and makes sure you are on the right track.

Why not trial meal prepping for a month and see how you go? We promise you’ll love the sense of routine and how easy it makes sticking to a diet plan. Remember, this is less about being regimented and denying yourself, and more about planning to include everything your body needs to function well. With this approach, you may find you have more time in your day for the things you really want to do, like exercise, self-care and your family. Good luck!

Want to Know About More About Weight Loss Surgery Nutrition?

Head to our page to find out the importance of optimal nutrition in your weight loss journey. Or for more tips on a healthy diet, see some other posts below.

Why Is Protein After Weight Loss Surgery Important?

When you’re thinking about weight loss surgery, you may hear the term floating around ‘protein first.’ What does that mean exactly? Why is protein after weight loss surgery an issue? Questions about your new diet in general are common, and particularly when it comes...

Meal Prep After Gastric Sleeve

Meal prepping is one of many ways to help sustain weight loss not only after gastric sleeve surgery, but any weight loss procedure. One of the biggest benefits of meal planning and prepping is that it allows you to stay on top of your nutrition intake. After gastric...

Can I Drink Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery?

A common question about life after weight loss surgery, is whether it is okay to drink alcohol. We understand this question. Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable (and often encouraged by friends or family). But is it bad for your health after bariatric surgery?...

How To Stay Hydrated After Bariatric Surgery

With the summer months now upon us, we think it’s the perfect time to talk about water! It seems like a simple solution to stay hydrated after bariatric surgery – just drink more water - right? But it isn’t always an easy task for patients. Due to the depleted size of...

Why is Meal Prep So Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Short on time? Don’t let that lead to last minute, unhealthy, meal choices which derail your weight loss goals. Be prepared! Give meal prep a go. Preparing your meals in advance ensures you are eating good food often, no matter how busy you are. It also allows you to...

10 Ways to Avoid Christmas Weight Gain

When it comes to Christmas many people who have had weight loss surgery or even those who are simply on a healthy eating plan, go into panic mode. The Christmas catch-ups start now and flow right through the New Year. They generally involve eating out, eating...

The Role of a Dietitian In Your Weight Loss Journey

Many people who embark on weight loss surgery have come into contact with at least one dietitian in the past and let’s face it, we aren’t on the top of anyone’s Christmas card list! So when your weight loss surgeon suggests you see yet another dietitian, you shudder...

Low-Carb Vs Low-Fat: What’s The Best Diet For Weight Loss?

When it comes to tackling obesity and treating and preventing other related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers a good diet is a critical component. But what is a good diet? Is it low-fat? Is it low-carb? We look at some of the recent...

10 Ways to Avoid Christmas Weight Gain

10 Ways to Avoid Christmas Weight Gain

10 Ways to Avoid Christmas Weight Gain

When it comes to Christmas many people who have had weight loss surgery or even those who are simply on a healthy eating plan, go into panic mode. The Christmas catch-ups start now and flow right through the New Year. They generally involve eating out, eating extravagantly and drinking more alcohol than usual. Given this, how can you come out the other end of the silly season unscathed and with your hard-earned weight loss maintained? We show you some great tips you can adopt to help avoid Christmas weight gain right through the season.

1. Plan for It.

If you know you’re going to be eating food which is less-than-healthy, try to up your nutrient intake prior to the planned blowout. This is especially important if you are post-surgery, where adequate nutrition levels should be monitored. For instance, if you’re going out for dinner, choose good meals through the day so you know you have had your quota of vitamins and minerals regardless of any empty calories you happen to consume later. To help you keep track of what you’re eating, you can look at a healthy eating app, or a food diary such as the Destination Slim range for both surgical and non-surgical weight loss.

2. Eat before you go.

This may seem counter-productive, but eating an early meal an hour or so before a decadent social meal can be your secret weapon to avoid Christmas weight gain! Preparing a small yet well-balanced and nourishing meal at home will ensure you aren’t ravenous and consuming too much of the bad stuff when you’re out and about.

3. Skip the snacks.

Most people come undone right when they walk in the door, due to the huge array of snacks often on offer at bars, at dinner parties and of course, on Christmas Day. If you can, refuse snacks altogether (this will be easier if you have followed point 2). With weight loss surgery patients it’s advisable to eat protein first – so even more reason to hold off until the main meal.

4. Bring a plate.

Bringing a plate to Christmas catch-ups or on the big day will mean that at worst case scenario there is something there that you find appetising. This means you won’t have blown your healthy eating plan. Think crudités and dip, or perhaps a plate of beautifully made chicken salad. Here’s a lovely recipe from Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery for Prawns with Cucumber & Mango Salsa which is a delicious addition to any Christmas table. Or if you’re asked to bring dessert, berries with a lightly spiced yoghurt dip is a healthy option that is still ‘Christmassy’.

5. Choose right.

When it comes to Christmas day itself, it’s pretty difficult to eat before, and well, who would want to anyway? So how can we make better choices at the Christmas buffet? Load up on the fresh food, and eat less of the heavy stuff. Choose protein like seafood and lean meat with salads, over potato, gravy and pork crackling. Also, limit your sugar intake if possible. If you are going to have dessert, maybe skip the alcohol, and watch for hidden sugars in ‘savoury’ food like sauces.

6. Choose less.

Everything in moderation is really key to surviving Christmas. No one would want to deny you the pleasure of traditional favourites like a prawn cocktail, turkey or the good old Christmas pud with custard. Just keep an eye on portion size, and eat a little of everything you want, rather than a plate full of each.

7. Hungry or thirsty?

Sometimes it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, especially when the temperature is rising. Make sure you have had plenty of water before events, and even make the first thing you consume water at the dinner table. With our weight loss surgery patients, making a plan to consume enough water is even more important, since you may not be able to consume both at once.

8. Drink less alcohol.

Alcohol is the Grinch that stole your Christmas willpower! As much as you can, limit your alcohol intake to help you stay in control, and reduce consumption of empty calories. Importantly, if you have had bariatric surgery alcohol can also affect you differently than before, and can even be dangerous.

Try being the designated driver to a couple of events over Christmas, to lighten your total alcohol load. If you do decide to drink, try to limit yourself to 1-2 standard drinks over the whole event, and drink plenty of water, or a mineral water with lime in between, to slow you down and keep you hydrated. You could also consider mixed drinks like champagne and OJ to reduce the amount of alcohol you’re consuming per-glass.

9. Move more.

Walking off your Christmas lunch is a lovely way to end the day – especially if you live near the beach like we do here on the Sunny Coast! Or you could get out and challenge the kids to a game of backyard cricket, or a few laps in the pool. Sitting around after a dense meal just makes you feel heavy and can be a bit defeating too.

If you are on the town during the party season, why not suggest getting out for a dance rather than spending all night sitting down? If you’re the designated driver, this can be a great way to change up the pace as well.

10. Get your beauty sleep.

Waking up after a night of socialising refreshed is the best way to ensure you don’t have a bacon and egg or burger blow-out the next morning. Consistent lack of sleep can also slow your metabolism, and lead to weight gain. Aim for around 8 hours of sleep per night to be at our best even during the silly season.

Enjoying Christmas.

Whether you’ve had weight loss surgery, or are simply watching your weight, ensuring you avoid Christmas weight gain whilst still enjoying the season is easier with a bit of planning, and with a bit of restraint where it counts.

It’s also a great idea to remember that this season is not only about good food, but good company. Savour the quality time you spend with your family and friends this Christmas as much as any food that passes your lips.

Have a wonderful Christmas.
The Team at Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast.

Need more help with your weight loss goals?

If you are constantly struggling to lose weight, and it’s getting you down, weight loss surgery may be right for you. If you’re curious, and you live in the Sunshine Coast or Wide Bay region, why not make a time to have a confidential chat with a surgeon? Our experienced bariatric surgeons consult at Birtinya, Noosa and Hervey Bay.

Our surgeons can confirm whether you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, and which procedure might be right for you.

Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

Make an appointment to chat with a surgeon near you about how we can help.

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