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Advice needed: How to do Thanksgiving



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Veterans of weight-loss surgery, what kind of plan do you go into Thanksgiving with? Do you count calories, weigh your food or just eat tiny portions of what you want? Do you go out of your way to make WLS-friendly sides and Desserts?

I just broke a 3 week stall and I don't want to go back to that weight ever again. Any tips and tricks are appreciated!

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I was five months out at my first post-surgery Thanksgiving, so in a different place than you are. I had an ounce or two of turkey with gravy and a tablespoon or two of sweet potatoes and stuffing. I probably had some vegetables, too. I remember I brought a container of pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurt with me to eat while everyone else ate pumpkin pie.

in the years since then, I've eaten what I want, just in small portions. At 7.5 years out, I try to eat sensibly at holiday meals and not make a pig of myself. *Usually* it works...

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I am no veteran but when I find myself in group settings with lots of food I just go for the Protein first and maybe a bite or 2 of something else. I try to eye ball a few ounces of the Proteins and just stop eating when I get the slightest bit of full. (I am pretty good at eyeballing, I eyeball then weigh at home to keep myself tested. lol)

So far this process has worked for me.

Good luck, you can do it.

Edited by kcuster83

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I am 15 months out from VSG so at this point I can visually tell what is an amount I can eat and what isn't...but it may be helpful to measure it if you aren't there yet. I would probably avoid potato/bread (aka stuffing) based dishes especially if you're someone who can't eat just one or two bites of something and call it good. Focus on white meat turkey (or your family's meat of choice) and any vegetables that aren't covered in butter/sauce. You know yourself and your "triggers" better than any of the rest of us can, you just have to listen to yourself and stick with what you know works for you.

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I am planning on just getting turkey & a small bit of ham since I can't eat bready-carbs yet. I'll get some gravy to top my turkey & that's it! But mentally I've been preparing myself to stop associating Thanksgiving with binging. I dont have to eat 1 lb of mashed potatoes & a million slices of honey ham to feel like I had a good thanksgiving. Just gonna savor the flavors i WILL eat

Edited by bbykitty

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I'm three months out from mini bypass and had a Thanksgiving dinner with friends a few days ago. My plate was about a third turkey, and then a bite or two of everything else. It worked out really well - I felt like I was able to enjoy the meal along with everyone else. I didn't bother tracking that meal because I religiously track everything else, and I knew that if I missed my Protein goals or went over my calories that day, it wasn't going to be by much. We're also having our own (very toned down) Thanksgiving and I'm planning on doing the same thing - a decent serving of turkey, and then a taste of everything else. It helps that I'm still pretty food... ambivalent? and that I'm not really interested in sweet things since the surgery.

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We don't do thanksgiving here but last holiday season I was 6 weeks post op and eating at a relative's house. I hadn't told anyone I had had the surgery so I actually cheated on purpose that day so I could eat more than usual and not draw attention to myself. So I ate the carbs first, veg second, Protein little and last, and I kept drinking liquid to get it all through my pouch. I've cheated on purpose a few times since too. It's useful to know the rules (and break them) in certain situations if you don't dump (the risk I took!!!) Also brought home to me how very easy it is to eat around the pouch - even that close to surgery I managed about half a proper dinner. I'll be doing the same this year.

However - that isn't what you asked OP! When I'm eating celebration meals at home I do it on a side plate and just have a tiny bit of everything. And I have never felt like I'm missing out. I hope you can too.

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Will you be home for Thanksgiving or at a family event? I will be at home on the holidays so I will eat as usual. Like you breaking your stall (congrats), the weight loss and fear of gaining it back, are great motivators not to go overboard during the holidays.

I count calories, weigh my food no matter what. If on vacation, or a special event, I eat a bite of different things, log them right after the meal. If I can't log at the time, I take snapshots of the dish before I eat (and after) so I can remember what I ate and how much I ate, then log later. 24/7, 365 days/year.

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We don’t have thanksgiving in Australia but Christmas is very big here - food everywhere. As some others have suggested, go for the meat first, then add a few vegetables. Avoid the dressings & ‘sweet’ sides. It can be difficult to measure/weigh food if you’re a guest at someone else’s home. Practise comparing serving sizes at home before you go. For example what does 2oz of meat look like. How much does a spoon of mashed sweet potato weigh. Compare to the palm of your hand, the length of a finger, etc. too. Sounds silly but it does work. Don’t be afraid to choose one of the smaller children’s plates either instead of a larger adult plate.

Have a little fruit, if you’re allowed, for dessert.

Yoi’ll find that the first Thanksgiving will be the most challenging to work out. In subsequent years you’ll have more flexibility in your food choices. Like, Christmas now is one of the rare times in a year I will have some dessert.

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I am in the middle of the two week liquid pre-op so there will be no thanksgiving eating for me but I am going focus on what I am thankful for and enjoy my liquid diet. Its only one day, I keep telling myself that over and over LOL

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Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice! Our family is preparing Thanksgiving dinner at our house. My husband and kids all have their favorite dishes or special requests. I usually end up cooking for the first half of the day. As for me....I'm going to focus mainly on Proteins, then get very small amounts of anything else that sounds good and I think my stomach can handle. I also recruited my husband for a neighborhood walk this evening. :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am truly thankful for this community and its caring people!!

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I ate whatever I wanted, just in small quantities - successfully made it through leftovers without gaining weight. Even had pie

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