‘I lost 80% of my stomach so can’t eat much – here’s what I’m having on Xmas’

Eating more than your belly can handle is often a shared experience for many on Christmas Day.

As a food baby brews, most opt to have a nap on the sofa after stretching their stomachs with meats and vegetables galore.

But, not for Lauren Linford.

READ MORE: 'I spent years hiding body – but now could cry about how good I look in bikini'

The makeup artist underwent a gastric sleeve surgery in March, which saw 80% of her stomach removed to aid her weight lost journey.

She planned the procedure in Turkey around her favourite festive dinner to let her belly stretch to a size that could handle the mighty scran.

After training herself back onto solid foods post-operation, the Hertfordshire lass is now able to eat food served on a side plate – or what she now calls a "full meal".

After losing 5st 8lbs in eight months, the 31-year-old caught up with Daily Star to share what she'll be doing on Christmas Day.

Lauren candidly shared: "I decided to have my gastric sleeve at the start of this year so that by the time it gets to Christmas I will be able to at least eat a full dinner. All my food that will be served on a small side plate.

"I love Christmas and Christmas dinner is my favourite meal!

"I still wanted to enjoy some Christmas food so that’s why I decided to have it earlier this year so my stomach would be stretched to a size that was big enough and comfortable enough for me to enjoy my Christmas dinner.

"My Christmas dinner will be a quarter of the size that I normally eat.

"I can only currently eat half to 3/4 of a meal which is on a small side plate, where as before I would be able to eat a massive Xmas dinner on a normal dinner plate.

"I used to eat in one sitting a whole turkey leg, 4 x pigs in blanket, 4 x roast potatoes, vegetables – carrots, broccoli, parsnips and sweetcorn, pork stuffing, cauliflower cheese, 2-3 Yorkshire puddings and gravy!"

Despite having to downsize her much loved meal of the year, Lauren is still determined to give it her best shot.

"I will eat a mouthful of everything!" she declared.

"So everything I could eat last year I would just eat one mouthful of each thing on my plate this year.

"Which for me I don’t mind as I’m able to still eat a bit of everything but a much smaller amount of everything."

Although she cleverly planned her life-alerting operation with Christmas dinner in mind, there is no loophole to enjoy booze the same way.

The professional makeup artist said: "Drinking is very different, I get drunk very easily very quickly.

"But I can sober up quite quickly too if I don’t continue to drink.

"I also find as I’m drinking it will all the sudden hit me, like someone has hit a switch and I go from 0-100 of feeling very very drunk.

"When I was heavier I could drink four bottles of wine and still be standing I would just be a bit more of a loud drunk, now I drink a bottle of wine and I get very drunk instantly and get to the point of slurring my words.

But having a cheeky tipple is not the only thing Lauren has had to put to one side, fizzy drinks are a culprit in causing issues for Lauren and her smaller stomach.

She explained: "I have to avoid fizzy drinks.

"I could drink them if I wanted to but it would cause me allot of discomfort due to the air from the fizz, I could drink half a glass of Pepsi but I would have to sip it slowly and it would take me about 45 minutes to an hour to finish that half a glass.

"Also there is a massive risk with fizzy drinks actually stretching a stomach like mine back to how it was, which isn’t what I want as I could gain the weight back again!"

From having to ditch the bubbles to having her adored dinner now served on a side plate, Lauren is more than happy with the results of her gastric sleeve.

"I feel like myself again!" she gushed.

"I’ve got my confidence back! I can wear clothes I never imagined I could wear and my social life is the busiest it has EVER been, my mental health is also the best it has ever been.

"I’m so happy and healthy and just wish I had my gastric sleeve sooner."

You can follow Lauren on Instagram here.

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