Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN
Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, providing education and support prior to and following weight loss surgery.
Are traditional family gatherings centered around food presenting a challenge for you after weight loss surgery? As you strive for healthier habits, it can be hard to feel comfortable (or even welcome) at such events, especially when the unhealthy foods everyone eats seem incompatible with your post-surgery goals. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to food-centric get-togethers that will still allow you to connect with friends and family in meaningful ways. In this blog post, I'll share some ideas about how you can host or participate in a fun gathering without the anxiety of navigating all those difficult food choices.
1) Movie marathon. A movie marathon is a perfect alternative to a traditional family get-together centered around food. Pop some popcorn, make healthy snacks of your choice, and settle in for a night of healthy entertainment. Gather family favorites or make it a themed marathon (think all the Disney movies or Star Wars movies). Go ahead and grab your favorite blanket and get cozy!
2) Game night. Another great alternative to a food-centric family get-together is game night! You can break out classic board games or try some new ones. A game night is a great way to spend time with your family and get everyone interacting with each other. You can even make it a tournament-style game night with prizes for the winners. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right?
3) Bowling. Get those bowling shoes and ball ready to hit the lanes! Bowling is another fun activity the whole family can enjoy. From classic bowling to black light or cosmic bowling, it's a clean, competitive activity not centered around food. Bowling is also a great way to get everyone active and having fun!
4) Scavenger hunt. Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Send everyone around the house or get outdoors in the neighborhood or local park! Find ready-made scavenger hunts online or make your own. This activity is great for kids and adults alike and is sure to get everyone moving and laughing.
5) Karaoke night. Karaoke is the perfect opportunity to let out your inner entertainer! This activity is sure to induce laughter and unforgettable fun! You can either use a karaoke machine or find a karaoke app on your phone or tablet. Karaoke is a fantastic way to let loose, have some fun, and discover hidden talents in your family members! Not to mention it’s great for storytelling at the next family gathering.
With so many new and exciting options for family get-togethers not centered around food, there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking to have some active fun at a game night or just chill with the family for a movie night, there are activities everyone can enjoy.
Even after WLS, the moments shared with your loved ones will help you continue your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Connecting with those closest to you through meaningful activities can provide a break from everyday life and bring everyone closer together — without relying solely on food. So find your next fun adventure and create some memories!
BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.