Bariatric patients are unique people. We’ve voluntarily had our insides rearranged and overhauled our whole lives. We often can’t eat or take part in the same activities we used to be able to do and can sometimes feel left out. With holidays coming up and being surrounded by foods we can’t eat, it’s even harder. Luckily, buying gifts for bariatric patients is easy. We just want to know you support us, so buying gifts to make life easier means the world. There are some things to avoid buying, as they’ll just go to waste. Gifts for bariatric patients should include items that help get them closer to their goals.
Gifts to Avoid
Buying gifts for bariatric patients isn’t that difficult. Still, if you are going to go through the trouble of buying a gift for a bariatric patient, it’s best to avoid a few things.
You’ll want to avoid most food gifts. Since food gifts like cookies, cake and candy contain far more sugar and fat than a bariatric patient can tolerate, it’s best to say no. Not only could these foods make us sick and possibly even harm our stomachs, we also may not have the internal willpower to say no to them. Avoid the temptation and waste of a gift and go for something more meaningful.
Restaurant gift cards are another gift to avoid. While it is nice to eat out sometimes, eating out can be a stressful experience when you are a bariatric patient. Again, the surgery worked on our stomachs and not our minds. Gifts for bariatric patients that are centered around food is like giving an alcoholic a bottle of vodka for Christmas. We don’t always have the strength in us to say no and can jeopardize our progress or make us sick.
Experience Gifts For Bariatric Patients
When you’re obese, oftentimes, you can feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines. You watch everyone else enjoy life, but you have to take a back seat. It’s either because you don’t fit on a certain experience, you’re too heavy, or it makes you out of breath. One of the best parts of losing weight is getting to experience life again. It’s participating in events and experiences that we weren’t able to do before. Experience gifts for bariatric patients show that you support them and their healthier lifestyle.
Girl, our bodies have been through hell and back with bariatric surgery. We ask a lot of our bodies during this period of our life. What better way to say thank you to our bodies than giving us a massage gift certificate? Too often we are all too busy taking care of other people that we forget to take care of ourselves. A massage gift certificate shows that you care and want to pamper a bariatric patient.
Fitness Class Membership/Gift Certificate
If you want to help the bariatric patients in your life, get them a fitness class membership or gift certificate. This gift will help motivate us to get and stay active. Better yet, book a class for both of you to do together. Not only are you both encouraging healthier lifestyles, but you are also showing how much you support this patient’s lifestyle change.
Kind of going along with the massage gift, a facial or a spa treatment is the perfect way to pamper a bariatric patient. Taking time to destress, pamper and appreciate how far they’ve come allows the bariatric patient to better appreciate her body and her journey. Believe me, this journey is very much mental, more so than physical. It’s hard for us to start loving our bodies after hating them for so long. A facial or spa treatment would help get the self-love going.
Amusement Parks/Zip Lines
As I said earlier when you are severely obese, you miss out on certain things in life. One of those things is rides at amusement parks or a zip line adventure. Even if we can’t use the gift certificate until it gets warmer, amusement park or zip line adventure gifts would make almost any bariatric patient excited. We want to participate in the activities that we couldn’t do for so long. By purchasing one of these gift certificates, it shows that you are proud of the bariatric patient and want to celebrate their successes.
Food Gifts for Bariatric Patients
Just because we’ve had surgery on our stomachs doesn’t mean we don’t still get excited to eat. We still love to eat, just in different ways. My rule of thumb is that a serving of whatever I’m eating has to have less than five grams of fat and five grams of sugar. The other nutrients don’t matter as much, but if you do buy food gifts for bariatric patients, try to stick to this guideline to be safe. Some great options are:
Bariatric Advantage Protein Powder
My absolute favorite protein powder is Bariatric Advantage Iced Latte. Any of the flavors from Bariatric Advantage are good. Since protein is such a vital part of our diet, getting a bariatric patient protein powder is like getting a new mom some diapers or formula. We know that if you buy us really good protein powder that you care about our health and well-being. Each serving of the Bariatric Advantage has 27 grams of protein, 1.5 to 2.5 grams of fat and one gram of sugar. It’s a great choice!
A food scale is so helpful to bariatric patients. This food scale from Amazon is helpful in particular because it weighs foods up to 11 pounds, has a detachable bowl and converts between pounds, ounces, grams and more. Food scale gifts for bariatric patients are a great idea, as they help get a proper measurement of our food. Making sure we eat the correct amount of food ensures our new anatomy works to the best of its ability.
I know I said that you should avoid food gifts for bariatric patients, however, if you can find something that is under five grams of fat and five grams of sugar per serving, you’ll make the bariatric patient in your life very happy. It’s a bonus if you find some protein snacks. Amazon has a wide variety of snacks to choose from, like these Nutriwise Pizza Crunch Chips. For a sweet snack, these Lenny & Larry cookies are really good as well! And if you want to treat her to some candy, I really love Russell Stover’s Sugar-Free candies.
Portion Control Plates
Bariatric patients go wild for portion-control anything. To be able to visualize the food on our plate and measure out necessary portions is so helpful to our new lifestyle. You can show your support for this lifestyle by purchasing portion control plates for your bariatric friend. This portion control plate is perfect because it divides the plate into half for protein, a third for vegetables, and the remainder for carbs or fruit. I also really like a bowl with measurement lines, like this one I found on Amazon. You can’t forget flatware! Having smaller spoons, forks and knives helps us take smaller bites, so that we don’t have pain from taking too big of bites and forgetting to chew well.
As you start to take on the bariatric process and losing weight, it really helps to educate yourself on the mechanics of your body, as well as provide support for your healthy lifestyle. These following are the books I absolutely recommend and feel every person who goes on this journey should read at one point or another.
You On a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management
Drs. Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz use humor, science, and anecdotes to talk about emotional eating, the biology of the body and losing weight, and provide you with several tips to help you lose weight.
Eat Pretty, Live Well: A Guided Journal for Nourishing Beauty, Inside and Out
Jolene Hart describes the health benefits of different foods in her journal. I love that this book is interactive, and I can use it to keep track of my beauty, fitness and weight loss goals. She provides lots of motivation and inspiration to help you make better food choices.
Mirror Mirror: Dr. Linda’s Body Image Revolution
Dr. Linda Papadopoulos is a TV personality and body image expert. She explains in this book how to transform your negative body image into positive self esteem. We tend to talk negatively to ourselves all the time, and this book helps you overcome that negativity and start loving your body.
Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook: Healthy Recipes to Enjoy Favorite Foods After Weight-Loss Surgery
Sarah Kent is a registered dietitian and created this cookbook with recipes suitable for the bariatric patient. I’ve used several of her recipes in this cookbook, and they’re all delicious! It helps you enjoy your old favorites in a healthy way.
The Weight Loss Surgery Workbook: Deciding on Bariatric Surgery, Preparing for the Procedure, and Changing Habits for Post-Surgery Success
Doreen Samelson created this book to not only set you up for success after surgery, but answer many of your lingering questions. This book really helped me get focused on weight loss surgery and set realistic goals for after surgery. I highly suggest this workbook for anyone considering or having bariatric surgery.
A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
If you struggle with emotional eating or head hunger, you need to read this book. This book helps you overcome some of the issues that caused you to be obese in the first place, like guilt, shame, and depression. The book encourages you to not only lose weight physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a must-read for overcoming emotional eating.
Exercise seems to be one of those things that you either love or hate. Either way, it’s a necessary component of a healthy and bariatric lifestyle. Not only does it help release endorphins to make us happy, but it also satisfies the satiety center of the brain, encouraging us to eat less. By choosing exercise gifts for bariatric patients, you’ll help encourage them to stay active and get fit. Some suggestions that have helped me are:
Especially when you’re just starting out, workout DVDs can be so helpful. It’s embarrassing to go to the gym when you are obese, and so we need to find ways to workout without feeling our nerve. Workout DVDs are the perfect solution. My favorites are Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Four Big Miles, Weight Watcher’s Punch! and The Biggest Loser: Last Chance Workout. I’ve used all three of these DVDs and love them! They really helped me get into exercise, and now I’m more of a gym rat. However, I formed my fitness base in these DVDs, which allowed me to work up the confidence to go to the gym.
Hands down one of the biggest fitness motivators I have is a Fitbit. I use the Fitbit Charge 2 and love it. It tracks my heart rate, distance during my runs, how well I sleep and even has timers for meditation. It keeps me motivated because I participate in weekly challenges with friends for the most steps. I have a bit of a competitive side, so it makes me want to walk more each day just to beat them. It’s a great motivator, and they even have personal challenges you can do. I can track my weight, body fat percentage, food and water intake right in the app. This little gadget has helped me so much over the years!
Body Weight Scale with Fat Analysis
As we are losing weight, we get a little obsessive with numbers. A great gift for bariatric patients is a bodyweight scale with fat analysis, like the Redover Bluetooth Body Fat Scale. Sometimes our weight stays the same for weeks, and it can get discouraging. By having a body fat scale that does body composition measurements, we’d be able to see other numbers, like body fat percentage, decreasing. We love to see numbers go down, and this scale would do just that!
Nothing will motivate a bariatric patient more than new clothing! As we lose weight rapidly, we go through clothing fast. It gets expensive to keep buying new clothes. I really like these tank tops on Amazon. Getting us new workout clothes not only motivates us to exercise but also allows us to celebrate our smaller bodies. Treat us and buy a size smaller than you think we’ll need. We’ll appreciate the confidence boost when the clothes surprisingly fit!
Getting good quality sleep when you are a bariatric patient is essential. However, many of us struggle with staying warm after losing so much weight, making sleep difficult. By purchasing gifts that keep us warm and can help induce sleep, it can help our weight loss. Being well-rested means we can focus better on our daily goals. Some sleep gifts for bariatric patients include:
What’s more comforting and warming than a fleece blanket? Seriously, cuddling up in a fleece blanket is such a fun treat. Why not treat the bariatric patient in your life with a fleece blanket? I even found this cute one on Amazon for vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients. Staying warm while we try to sleep can help us so much and lets us know what you’re thinking about our new lifestyle.
I don’t know about you, but my feet are always freezing! By purchasing warm socks for the bariatric patient in your life, you’re letting them know that you understand their pain of always being cold. You want to help ease that and warm their thinner bodies. Warm socks will do just the trick!
Sleep can sometimes be elusive for everyone, but especially for bariatric patients. As our bodies adjust to a thinner self and less food intake, our hormones go kind of haywire and can cause insomnia. A sleep sound machine can be the perfect solution to be lulled into sleep. These machines emit slow and steady sounds to relax and allow a person to drift off to sleep. Allowing the bariatric patient to get good quality sleep helps turn off their hunger hormones and increases their satiety levels.
Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam pillows are phenomenal. If you aren’t using one or have never used one, you’re missing out! These pillows contour to your unique head and shoulder shape. It’s like being gently cradled at night. Memory foam pillows are a great gift to help ensure a good night’s sleep. They distribute weight evenly, relieving any pressure or tension that might be held in the neck. I also find they stay pretty cool, so you don’t have to constantly flip your pillow to the cool side.
A bariatric patient goes through a lot of changes. Their whole lifestyle is changed, from what they eat, to how much, when they eat and even how they eat. We constantly have to worry about eating enough protein and getting enough exercise to use our tools properly. We have to track our water intake and make sure we don’t get dehydrated. That’s on top of all the other life and job stressors we have! By giving us gifts to help manage our stress, you’re giving us a way to focus more on managing our new lifestyle and starting to live. Some great gifts for us to stress less are:
The Living Well Planner
I cannot tell you how much this planner has saved my life. From organizing all of my bariatric doctor appointments, to keeping track of my shopping list, to-do list and budget, this planner has space for it all. I even use it as a gratitude journal to write down something I’m grateful for every day. The Living Well Planner is seriously my lifesaver. It keeps my days and weeks organized and even gives me space to set and achieve goals. I would be lost without this planner, and it is just SO cute. This planner is the perfect gift for the bariatric patient to meal plan and keeps track of her busy schedule.
As I mentioned earlier, bariatric patients drop clothing sizes quite rapidly. For example, I started in a 4X shirt in December of 2017, and by the following December, I was down to a large or extra-large shirt. For jeans, I was in a 28W at my heaviest, and a year later I was in an 18W or 16W. Buying new clothing for bariatric patients shows not only that you support our decision to get surgery, but also that you are proud of us for the progress we’ve made. If you get it in a size smaller than you think we’ll need, it will be appreciated because we can wear the clothing for longer. New clothing is a great gift for bariatric patients.
Bariatric patients go through so many mental and physical changes as they progress through the bariatric surgery process. It’s helpful to have a journal to write down some of these feelings because they can be hard to process. Especially for those people who like to keep their feelings bottled up and not talk about them. Buying a journal for either thoughts, gratitude or to write down any tips or tricks they learn shows the bariatric patient that you are there for them and can only imagine how much their life has changed. I think gratitude journals are a great place to start, as it’s easy to forget all that we have gained since losing weight.
A Photo Shoot
I have friends with many talents. One of my best friends is a photographer and has done several mini-sessions for me to celebrate my weight loss progress. Each time she photographs me, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. It’s really hard for bariatric patients to see the thinner woman in the mirror every day. By having photoshoots, they can see themselves through someone else’s eyes and just how much progress they’ve made. Giving a gift certificate for a photoshoot shows the bariatric patient how proud you are of their progress and allows them to see the best thing of all: their new self. It’s an amazing feeling. Trust me, your bariatric friend will love this gift!
Gifts for Bariatric Patients
While there are some items to avoid, buying gifts for bariatric patients isn’t that difficult. We just want the people closest to us to show their support for our decisions. Gifts for bariatric patients should include items that help them get closer to their goals. Even buying us gifts that can be a shared experience, like fitness classes or zip-lining would bring a smile to our face. To help with portion control, food scales and portioned plates are great choices. Fitbits and workout DVDs encourage us to keep moving. Gifts to help us sleep and stay warm are essential to our new lives. Finally, gifts to help manage our stress like new clothes and a great planner will make our lives easier. We appreciate your support and the gifts you choose for us should reflect that.
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free eBook with the 10 Habits to Change Before Bariatric Surgery, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
Bariatric patients want to know that you support them and their new lifestyle. Buying gifts to help get us closer to our goals and celebrate our progress would be most appreciated. Things like gift certificates for zip lining or a photoshoot, portion-control tools, Fitbits, warm blankets and a high-quality planner are all great options.