Could You Limit Your Thanksgiving Dinner to a Quarter Cup of Food?

MakenzieR on 25 Nov 2014 at 9:00am


Can you imagine a Thanksgiving where you were only allowed to eat a quarter cup of food? That’s the reality for the growing number of Americans who have had weight loss surgery — a number that peaked at 200,000 in 2010 alone. Not only are these patients limited in the amount of good they can consume, but they’re also told to stay away from starches such as mashed potatoes and stuffing. (Now that's just cruel.)

We compared how much food a typical person eats on Thanksgiving (note that this plate belongs to one of our tiniest employees!), and compared it to the amount a post-weight loss surgery patient could consume at one time. Talk about a drastic difference!

Thanksgiving FoodWe made one mistake in the serving though — the starches! Bariatric surgeon Dr. David Buchin says “75% of your meal should be a protein, the other 25% of your meal should be a fruit or a vegetable. Starches such as pasta, rice, and bread should be limited, and carbonated beverages are off-limits.”

So how do post-op patients deal with Turkey Day?

RealSelf user Barbara L. had a plan that helped cut her cravings: “My first Thanksgiving I was 8 months out. I did all the cooking and had family members taste as I went along. If I did all the tasting I would have been full before dinner. I had turkey, carrots, and turnips and a little bite of sweet potato. I was so full from that I didn't have to worry about desserts or avoiding anything. The desire was not there.”

And what if your favorite dish is on the no-no list?

“My plan is to nibble, little bites of whatever I want, except anything like rice or bread,” said Annie, another RealSelfer who was facing her first post-op Thanksgiving in 2011. “Why not? Thanksgiving is always going to be a part of my life and I'm certainly not going to show up with a bottle of water and a protein bar. A little turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and pie will not make or break my entire diet.”

Do you have waistline worries on Thanksgiving, or is this a day when calories don’t count?