Tag: <span>Drinking</span>

It’s only two weeks until Christmas, but this year it’s going to be very different. This year I’ll be 4 months post-surgery from my gastric bypass.

Every other Christmas in the past has involved me eating my own body weight in turkey, potatoes, christmas pudding, and chocolate! There would be a lots of rich and calorific food consumed, both at home and in restaurants and pubs at meals out and parties.

Christmas, like a lot of other celebrations, is inextricably linked to food, and often lots of it! Plates are usually piled high, and meals are often rich and decadent. And usually there’s a fair amount of drink flowing as well.

Christmas food

This year my Christmas dinner will be served on a side plate. There’s no point piling food up on a dinner plate, because there’s no way I’ll be able to eat that much, and it’ll be a waste of food. The portion sizes after my gastric bypass are considerably smaller than I’m used to, and I’m physically unable to eat large portions. Indeed, if I did attempt to overeat it would make me really uncomfortable or sick.

I’m also going to have to resist the urge to graze on food and treats during the day, because if I eat between meals then I’ll not be able to eat anything at the dinner. I’m also not going to be able to eat lots of fatty or sugary foods, as I know they’ll make me ill.

And so food this Christmas is going to be a different proposition for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still going to enjoy my turkey dinner – but I need to get my head around the fact that I won’t be eating to excess. And I won’t have my face stuck in a tub of Quality Street for a week!

I guess I just need to get used to a Christmas that isn’t dominated by food.

Christmas drink

As for drink I’m undecided whether I’ll have any over Christmas.

The advice from bariatric surgeons seems to be that patients avoid all alcohol for the first 6 months after surgery. And for the last 4 months I’ve not touched a drop, and I haven’t really missed it.

I suppose the only reason why I’m considering it is to be social, and because (like food) drink is so heavily associated with Christmas celebrations. I don’t want to get drunk – I’m too old to be dealing with hangovers – but maybe one or two glasses might be ok?

But then again, I’m not meant to drink any fluids while I’m eating, so the glass of wine with dinner isn’t going to be a thing.

Argh! It’s no wonder I’m undecided.

COVID Christmas

In these COVID-19 pandemic times, Christmas this year is going to be very different for most people. We’re not meeting up with family and friends, we’re not having office Christmas parties, and (thankfully) there are no occasions when someone is trying to shove a plate of mince pies in my face.

Some people are also not going to have a happy Christmas at all, as they deal with grief from the loss of a loved one, or the hardship that comes from losing work, or with physical or mental health issues.

So although my Christmas will be very different this year, I still feel very lucky. I’m still in work, my friends and family are all well, and I was able to have surgery that will help me live a healthier, longer, and more fulfilled life. And so I feel very blessed!

Diet Surgery

The last time I had a drink of alcohol was in the middle of August. It was just before my pre-surgery diet started. And since then I’ve not touched a drop!

When I sit down and think about it, it’s about three and a half months ago, or 15 weeks. That might possibly be the longest time in my adult life when I’ve not consumed alcohol.

I wouldn’t say I’m a heavy drinker. I used to be, back in my 20s and 30s, when I would go to the pub several times a week and have enough drink to get drunk. But now I’m in my late 40s I would probably have no more than a couple of beers with dinner, or share a bottle of wine with my wife. And even then it would average out at only once a week.

Except for the last 3 months since surgery, I’ve not had anything, and to be honest I don’t miss it.

I don’t have any cravings to have a drink. I suppose it helps that I’m not supposed to drink any liquids during meals, and so the link between having a drink with dinner has been broken.

It also helps that – in these COVID times – there’s no social occasions happening where drink is available.

Alcohol for bariatric surgery patients

Surgeons normally suggest that gastric bypass patients don’t drink at all for the first 6 month after surgery. During this period of rapid weight loss, alcohol can cause damage the liver. It could also lead to Hypoglycemia when the blood sugar level drops to dangerously low levels.

After the 6-month point, it’s advisable to only drink in small quantities. With the altered digestive system, alcohol arrives in the small intestine (where it is absorbed) a lot more quickly than it would have prior to surgery, and also stays around for longer. So a person will get drunk quicker on less drink and stay drunk longer.

There’s also the risk that people might transfer their food addiction into an alcohol addiction. If in the past they have turned to food in response to their emotions – to reduce stress, depression or anxiety – then it’s possible they may turn to alcohol instead. Studies have indicated that as many as 20% of people who have had a gastric bypass will develop some form of alcohol or substance dependency – that’s three times the rate as in the general population.

And so the advice seems to be to avoid drinking altogether if you can. But if you do drink, then only have a small amount, and drink infrequently. And always allow a much longer time to sober up than in the past.

Empty calories

There’s also the thing to remember that alcohol is really high in calories but low in nutrients. So a few drinks can often slow down weight loss, or even contribute to weight gain.

Personally I think I’d rather get my calories from food.

Diet Surgery

The company Christmas party was last night, and by the look on people’s faces you can tell they had a big night!

It’s 10.00am and half the staff haven’t made it into the office yet. And those that are hear look like they would rather be anywhere else! Pretty much everyone is looking hungover, and in between sharing war stories of how much they drank and what nightclub they ended up in, there’s only one thing on people’s minds…

Breakfast rolls!

Bacon, sausage, and egg – maybe with a bit of black pudding and some tomato ketchup – all in a white bread roll. It’s the perfect hangover cure!

Personally, I wasn’t at the party last night, and I’m not hungover. But the smell of the breakfast rolls in the office is driving me crazy. I know that if I had been drinking I’d have had at least one of these by now – and even though I’m not hungover, the smell is driving me crazy and I’m seriously considering getting one!

These Christmas nights out cause serious damage to my weight loss, even when I don’t go!

Slimming World Unhealthy Foods