New Jersey Bariatric Center
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How to Reset After Holiday Eating

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | January 4, 2022

If you’ve overindulged this holiday season and are looking for a fresh start this New Year, you’re not alone. With lots of holiday gatherings, it’s hard not to veer off track a little bit. Rather than searching for a quick fix, cleanse or product, let’s look at some steps to take if you’re trying to get your health back on track or resetting after the holidays.

  1. Resist the urge for a quick fix.

    Cleanses, fad diets and juice fasts are everywhere in the new year but we all know they don’t work in the long run. Set an intention to make better choices starting now and don’t beat yourself up for what can’t be changed.

  2. Make a plan.

    This is so important, and you’ll want to give some serious thought to your next steps in order to be successful in the days and weeks ahead. Grab a blank calendar page or open your Notes app and write/type a list of specific ways to help you meet your goal. It could be resuming a protein focused pre-op diet, exercising 3 times this week or drinking 8 glasses of water. Use the SMART method of setting goals to help set yourself up for success.

  3. Tackle your temptations first. Then restock with healthy choices.

    First, get rid of any lingering temptations that don’t fit with your priorities. Give away or toss leftovers, soda or that half-full bag of chips so they don’t come calling later on. Then stock up on healthy choices and even do some meal prepping if time permits. Chop up fresh veggies, prepare a salad and cook a big batch of soup or crock pot chicken. Grab some cheese sticks, yogurts and hummus for easy snacks and you’re well on your way to a healthier you. 

  4. Weigh yourself as needed.

    While frequent weigh-ins might seem like a good way to track your progress, it’s best to aim for once or twice a week at most and focus on other cues in between. You might notice you have more energy, your pants fit better and your digestion is less sluggish. These are all great ways to check in with yourself to gauge if your efforts are yielding the results you’re looking for. 

  5. Get moving.

    If you’ve been off the exercise wagon for a week or more, it’s best to start back slowly and always check with your doctor if you have any pre-existing health conditions that limit your activity. Choose something enjoyable - maybe a walk, a favorite class online or at the gym or yoga studio to work on flexibility. Whatever you choose, take it easy and listen to your body. Schedule time each day or week for exercise to get back into a regular routine.

  6. Celebrate small wins

    A decision to have bariatric surgery requires committing to a new way of approaching food and health, but there will be bumps along the way. When you meet one of your goals whether it’s drinking 8 glasses of water or exercising, celebrate those small wins and let it motivate you to achieve the next goal on your list.

  7. Be in it for the long haul

    Don’t let a bad day or week undo all the progress you’ve made during your weight loss journey. Every step you take puts you a little closer to becoming a healthier you.  For even more inspiration, check out these daily steps to get healthier each day.

  8. Meal plan

    In general, we like to tell our patients to stick to 3 meals and a healthy snack with a focus on protein a day. Below is a sample menu for an idea of what your meals can look like.  

  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice whole grain toast, ½ cup berries
  • Lunch: Chef’s salad with lettuce, turkey, cheese and lots of fresh veggies
  • Dinner: Cup of veggie or bean soup, grilled or baked protein: salmon/chicken/lean beef/tofu, side of cooked vegetables. 
  • Snack: ¼ cup of nuts OR a part-skim cheese stick 

Remember, you can always substitute a protein shake for one of your meals or snacks.

If you need help resetting after the holidays or getting back on track, make an appointment to see a NJBC RD at 908-481-1270.

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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