How to avoid high sugar food and drinks this Bonfire Night when you’re on a weight loss diet

When we think about Bonfire night…

We think about layering up, getting our family and friends together and heading to our local firework display with cold ears warmed by earmuffs and freezing hands holding endless mugs of hot chocolate.

Whether your typical Guy Fawkes night involves deep-fried carnival fayre served by food trucks at the park or toffee apples in your back garden, it can often be a night of overindulgence, so it is important to keep your weight loss motivation in mind and stay on track.

Filling up on traditional Bonfire night snacks like toffee apples and toasted marshmallows can send your daily sugar and fat intake spinning faster than a Catherine wheel…

High levels of simple sugars can be found in many of these foods which increases your risk of ‘dumping syndrome’ if you have had gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. You should also be aware that favourites like cinder toffee and toffee apples can be harder to chew, swallow and digest which makes them a higher risk food as they could get lodged causing complications.

When we’re on a weight loss diet, we often forget just how many calories can be in our drinks too…

Seasonal drinks like festive hot chocolate with all the toppings and spiced cider are full of empty calories which go down much easier than having to chew textured, solid foods which means that you will usually consume much more before feeling satisfied especially if you have had gastric banding surgery.

But being on a weight loss diet doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy food during the festive season!

As recommended by our specialist bariatric dietitian Emily Freeth, we share our weight loss tips with our 5 smart swaps for your favourite Bonfire night treats to keep you warm and toasty:


1. Toffee apples

Smart swap: Stewed apple with low-fat Greek yoghurt and honey


3 or 4 thinly chocolate coated apple slices, strawberries or grapes on a skewer


Caramel apple energy balls


  • 1 cup dried apples
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Blend all the ingredients together then roll into small balls and refrigerate. If you need weight loss motivation, you could even add a small amount of protein to the mix to create protein balls.


2. Toasted marshmallows

Smart swaps: Sugar-free marshmallows or a toasted banana (wrapped in foil) with 3 or 4 chocolate buttons pushed inside


Roasted chestnuts


3. Hot chocolate

Smart swap: Low fat or Light Hot Chocolate such as Highlights

Simply add water or skimmed milk, avoiding any toppings such as added cream or chocolate on top and serve in a smaller mug.


4. Hot spiced cider

Smart swap: Mulled hot apple juice (Serves 2)


  • Apple juice 500ml
  • Cinnamon x2 sticks
  • Cloves x 12
  • Cardamom pods crushed x 2
  • x1 orange chopped into quarters
  • Honey 1 tablespoon

Heat all of the ingredients in a pan and serve, adding an optional 5ml Spiced rum if you wanted something alcoholic.

If you don’t have time to make your own festive drinks, you could also try spiced herbal teabags in seasonal flavours such as cinnamon served in a smaller mug.

5. Bonfire cinder toffee

Smart swaps: Small portion (mini bag) of low-fat Toffee popcorn


3 or 4 thinly chocolate coated apple slices, strawberries or grapes on a skewer

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