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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Can We Have Our Gastric Bypass and Party To?

Happy Cinco de Mayo day! If you are celebrating this holiday at home why not give my Shrimp Soup a try for a little south of the border flavor! ‘Ole!

In many parts of the United States Cinco de Mayo is an important way to proudly honor Mexican heritage. Non-Mexican Americans also participate in the celebrations, much in the same manner that the non-Irish observe St. Patrick's Day, with holiday-themed parties marked by the consumption of Mexican food, tequila and Mexican beer.

For a gastric bypass patient, any of the three: Mexican food, tequila and Mexican beer or the three combined can spell trouble. Rice and beans that are staples in Mexican food are dense and clog the system quickly. Tequila absorbs and intoxicates rapidly and beer bloats tiny tummies.

So the question is, can we have our gastric bypass and party to?

Here are my hints for making merry after weight loss surgery:

If you are attending a party with a food buffet, first before dishing your plate, survey the food. Identify key protein sources and plan to eat protein for 50-percent of your intake. Consider splurge choices, such as a rice or tortilla items and partake cautiously. Identify one dessert and save it to taste last when you are almost full.

Take little servings. We still have that “clean up your plate” habit, so don’t overfill your plate.

Know your enemies – for example, if you know processed flour products make you sick avoid them. If you know you dump on sugar-dairy (ice cream) don’t have any. It’s just not worth it - a party is not fun if you get sick

Be leery of hidden sugars, such as barbeque sauces or fruit dishes and avoid them.

One of the classic dieting tips for the “regular” people is to eat a small meal before a party so you won’t be hungry and eat too much at the party. Sorry, folks. This is a bad plan for WLS people – all of our meals are small and it is ineffective to try and pre-eat before an event. Don’t bother.

By the same token, avoid grazing for the duration of the party. Remember, grazing or snacking is the number one reason WLS patients regain weight. I like to floss and brush my teeth when I’m done with the meal – this helps me refrain from grazing. If this is possible give it a try, it may help you too.

It’s important to drink plenty of water on the day of the party. It is especially important to have your cells well hydrated if you intend to splurge on wine or a mixed drink. (I know I nag about the water – it must be important!)

If you splurge on wine or a mixed drink avoid the frozen tropical drinks such as Pina Colada, Daiquiri or Margarita. Consumption of these iced sugar-alcohol beverages takes you on a guaranteed short trip to dumpsville. Just don’t go there. It’s not worth it. Same thing with Tequila shooters – just don’t go there, you will get sick.

A good mixed drink ratio is one-part liquor to three-parts mixer. Club soda or diet soda are good mixer choices. And the classic rule to drink a glass of water between drinks works well for WLS people – water, water, water.

Red wine is a better choice than white wine because it has a lower sugar content. Sip slowly and be sure you have eaten some food. (I know the rule is no drinking liquids with solid food, but this is a party, not an everyday behavior. It’s ok to tweak the rules occasionally if you do it smartly.)

Remember your water! (Did I mention that?)

Have a great time at your celebrations! Remember you are Living After WLS! Send me your hints & ideas for safe celebrating.

Happy Day!

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