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Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #19--Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery
November 15, 2022

After Bariatric Surgery

Tiny Tummy Tips, Issue #019 -- How to Enjoy Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery

In This Issue

1) What Your Thanksgiving Day Plate Should Look Like
2) Pro Tips
3) Start Out Right
4) Thanksgiving is a Verb

What Your Thanksgiving Plate Should Look Like

No one wants to feel deprived during the happiest time of year, so here are some Thanksgiving themed menu ideas you can use at each diet stage.

No matter how far out of surgery you are, enjoy a little of the festive tastes of Thanksgiving without getting off track:

Clear Liquid Diet Stage

Turkey Bone Broth like this Pacific Foods Brand with Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Full Liquid Diet

Pumpkin Protein Shakes

Pureed/Soft Diet

• Cauliflower mashed “potatoes”
• Mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes (no skin): sweeten with crushed pineapple or orange juice. Leave out the butter, sugar, brown sugar and/or marshmallows
• All natural applesauce. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice
• Plain nonfat Greek yogurt + canned pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie filling) + vanilla extract. Sprinkle with cinnamon.


• Plain nonfat Greek yogurt + pumpkin pie extract. Sprinkle with cinnamon
• Sugar free vanilla pudding + fat free cool whip. Sprinkle with nutmeg

Regular Diet

A full meal should look like this:

• 1-4 ounces turkey (adding a small amount of gravy may help it go down better)
• Unlimited green vegetables: Steamed green beans (not green bean casserole), salad
• ½ cup max of all the “yummy carby stuff”: mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn pudding, cornbread, rolls, etc.
• 3 bites of your favorite dessert

Eat in this order. ALWAYS:

• PROTEIN 1st (turkey or ham)
• VEGETABLES OR FRUITS 2nd (green beans, salad, fruit salad)
• CARBS/STARCH Last (stuffing, potatoes, cornbread, etc.)

When you fill up on protein and produce, it almost impossible to overeat the carbs!


Try Out New Healthy Recipes

Whether you’re hosting or attending, make or bring at least one new healthy recipe. There are endless lowfat, “carb swap” recipes to be found online.

EVERYONE can benefit from a healthier recipe. Pinterest is my go-to for things like:

• Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
• Low Carb Stuffing
• “Unstuffed Stuffing”
• Healthy Green Bean Casserole
• Low sugar cranberry sauce
• Sugar free apple crips
• Low fat pumpkin

See My Thanksgiving Pinterest Board

Make It Look Fun

When you make healthy food LOOK fun to eat, it’s an easy buy-in.

These turkey shaped crudites platters are my personal favorite. I always make one on Thanksgiving for my family. It’s fun to watch it get gobbled up because it looks so cute!

Use the Plate Model
to Portion Your Plate

Divide your plate in half.

Fill half of it with veggies: green salad, raw veggies from a crudites platter, steamed green beans, healthy green bean casserole.

Fill ¼ of the plate with protein: turkey or ham,

Allow ¼ of the plate for the “fun festive carbs:” stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, etc.

Then be done with it. One (plate) and done.

Get Rid of Leftovers

The thanksgiving meal itself is not always the problem. It’s leftovers that get continuously eaten in the week after that can become a problem. So:

• Purchase inexpensive plastic containers you can fill up with leftovers and send home with your guests
• Give them to neighbors
• Take them to work
• Donate them to a shelter

If all else fails. Throw leftovers away. Sounds tough, I know! But “throw them out or thrown them in. Either way they will go to waste…or waist!”

(Maybe cook less to begin with?!)

P.S. Track your Intake

If ever there was a time to keep a food diary, it’s on a holiday! Writing down everything you eat and drink is one way to maintain personal accountability.

Start Out Right

• Start Thanksgiving Day Off Right.
• Start the Whole Holiday Season Off Right.

Start Thanksgiving Day off right by eating breakfast. Lunch too. Don’t skip meals during the day. Avoid “saving” all your calories for Thanksgiving dinner.

A hungry person makes bad decisions! Hunger and low blood sugar always lead to overeating. So do you best to eat as you regularly would up until it’s turkey time!

Start the Whole Holiday Season Off Right

Thanksgiving week can be a hectic beginning to a busy holiday season so take time NOW to reflect on your personal “reason for the season.”

If holidays in the past have been all about the food…

…“Food events with people present,” …

… plan to make a mental shift this year to make it about

“People events with food present” instead.

There’s no better time to start practicing this mindset than next week on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a Verb

Take time to give thanks. For everything.

Be thankful for how far you’ve come…even if you’re not where you want to ultimately be. Make a list of any non-scale victories you’ve enjoyed.

If you haven’t had your surgery yet, be thankful you’ve started on the journey. If you’ve had surgery and have experienced weight regain, be thankful for the “tool” you have and know it can work for you again.

Live everyday with an attitude of gratitude. Use Thanksgiving Day to remind yourself to do so. Gratitude changes everything.

I’m grateful for you. Thank you for the time you take to read the words I write.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy and delicious Thanksgiving Day!!!!

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See you in the next issue!

In Health,

Suzette Kroll, RDN

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