Halloween can be a difficult time for bariatric patients for several reasons. It’s easy to overindulge because the candies are often fun-sized, and you may feel pressured to treat yourself because candy is a traditional element of the holiday. However, sweets can be triggering for some bariatric patients and may lead to binge eating or slipping into unhealthy diet habits.
One of the biggest elements for long-term weight loss success after bariatric surgery is changing your relationship with food and committing to the bariatric diet. If you’re worried about having stockpiles of candy around during the Halloween season, the following tips can help you enjoy the holiday without derailing your weight loss.
- Wait until the day before the holiday to buy candy. Candy prices don’t rise enough to warrant buying sweets in bulk weeks before Halloween. If you don’t have the candy in your house, you won’t be tempted by it.
- Buy non-candy treats. While candy is the traditional Halloween treat, not every house follows this convention. Some houses give out Play-Doh, sensory toys, glowsticks, or healthier snack foods.
- Leave candy duty to someone else. You can hand off candy duty to someone else in your household or leave a bowl on a table outside your door. If you have kids, you can walk with them and get a bit of exercise.
- Don’t buy the candy you like. If you buy candies that you don’t care for, you’re less likely to give in to the impulse to eat them.
- Donate your leftover candy. Bring whatever is left to the office to get it out of your house. Many dental offices will take candy off your hands if you don’t want the candy nearby at all.
- Keep your hunger in check. If you’re hungry while handing out candy, you’re likely to pilfer from the candy bowl between trick or treaters.
- Hold onto your water bottle. Many individuals confuse thirst and hunger cues. If you’ve recently eaten and you’re feeling hungry, you may be dehydrated. Having a water bottle in hand is also an effective way to keep your hands and mouth busy.
- Barter with your children. If you have kids, the candy temptation will last until their candy depletes. Consider bartering with them by offering a quarter for every piece of candy they put in the give-away pile. They can use the money to buy themselves a non-candy item, such as toys, clothes, etc. They may not be willing to part with all of it, but it allows you to remove much of the temptation.
- Allot a certain amount of candy. Pick out a few pieces of candy for yourself before you give the rest away. Depriving yourself of all candy will cause resentment and frustration. Elimination diets also tend to fail as they’re too restrictive and unrealistic.
- Do something else. Sometimes it’s best to avoid the holiday altogether. Plan a night out to the movies, go on a date, or find another activity that gets you out of the house.
The health benefits of bariatric surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life. However, learning your new diet takes time, and holidays can be especially challenging. Contact us to learn more about life after bariatric surgery.