As the holiday time approaches, life sure does seem to get busier. We may spend extra time shopping, wrapping presents, sending cards, cooking, baking, keeping the kids occupied, preparing for company, and finishing up last minute tasks before the year ends. It may feel like things will never get done and there’s no time for you. But, not only is taking care of yourself is important- it is essential. Keeping yourself healthy needs to be a priority. Eating well, exercising, and getting adequate sleep are not things you can put on pause until the holiday season is over.
We offer a few tips to help gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve patients keep up with their bariatric lifestyle when life gets busy this holiday season:
- Plan Ahead
Create a list of what you need to accomplish and when it needs to be completed. Map out the best days to tackle each project and plan accordingly. You will see that there is time for it all, and that includes taking care of yourself. Schedule in your exercise, whether it’s your regular kickboxing, yoga, or barre class, or if it’s a run/walk/hike/bike ride, write it down and stick to it. Plan your meals ahead and grocery shop so that you have quick, healthy choices, and won’t feel the need to order in or take out. Buying food out or ordering in tends to cause us to eat more calories than if we prepared meals at home, and this can make losing weight or maintaining weight loss difficult.
- Utilize Technology
No time to go to the grocery store? Try ordering your groceries online. Amazon has lot of pantry items that can be ordered and delivered quickly and some grocery stores offer at home delivery services for nominal fees. The extra time you save can be the time you need to accomplish the day’s task. Do as much as you can online. Skip parking lots and check out lines and shop online. You can even skip going to the post office to mail gifts, and send them right from the online retailer. Get organized by tasks into the calendar on your phone. You can get an alert on your phone or email reminding you of your task, whether it’s setting up the spare bedroom, wrapping presents while the kids are at school, or if it’s time for yoga class. Set a timer on your phone for bedtime. When we are busy, time can fly by. But when bedtime flies by, our bodies suffer. Adequate sleep is important, as it keeps you awake and alert for the next day’s activities, but also studies show that too little sleep can increase appetite and affect weight.
- Go Crock Pot Crazy
Lots of people think crock pot meals have to be heavy and gravy laden, but that’s anything but true. You can put a whole chicken in the crock pot in the morning and have moist, cooked chicken for days with very little effort. Many gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients have trouble with the texture of beef, but cooking different cuts in the crock pot can tenderize them and make beef easier for bariatric patients to digest. Almost anything can be made in a crock pot- chicken, beef, pork, fish, vegetables, soups, and stews. The nice thing is the food cooks with very little effort on your part, just a stir here and there, which gives you time to go for a run or time to prepare your house for company.
Planning ahead, utilizing technology, and ensuring you have quick, and easy meals can make this holiday season a little easier for bariatric patients and give you time to focus on your health and weight loss goals. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the day’s activities, what you accomplished, and what is remaining. Don’t let the hurried days of December put your health on hold. Remember to be good to your body. Stick with the positive habits you established for your new post surgical lifestyle, including eating well and incorporating fitness into your routine.
The above tips are offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and robotic assisted bariatric surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients benefit from the convenience of his Boca Raton office, which is centrally located near Florida’s Turnpike and minutes from I-95 to accommodate his patients traveling from Miami, Naples, Fort Meyers, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Dr. Shillingford encourages all of his patients to follow their post bariatric surgery diet and fitness routine for maximum weight loss success.