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How to Navigate Your Summer BBQ after Weight Loss Surgery


By By Dr. Dieter Pohl

Summer is right around the corner! Pretty soon we will have hot poolside days, beach trips, and BBQs. If you recently have received bariatric surgery, navigating a summer BBQ is a whole new ball-game. Summer is supposed to be a fun, care free season, don’t let your diet bring you down! Here are some tips to help you navigate your summer BBQ after weight loss surgery.

Portion Control 

Even though there will be plenty of food, you don’t want to show up to your summer BBQ hungry. Plan to portion control your day by eating something before the BBQ. Don’t feel obligated to eat everything on your plate, but be sure to still enjoy yourself! When planning your portions, be sure to pick a protein first before choosing your other sides. Try to avoid the snack table. 

Fire Up the Grill

Time to fire up the grill! Patients who are post-op might have difficulty digesting red meat, here are some things you can safely enjoy on the grill if you have had bariatric surgery. Try marinating chicken before it goes on the grill and don’t overcook it. That will make it too dry. You can also parboil chicken and then put it on the grill. Fish or vegetables on the grill may also be a good option because they are soft. Be prepared to bring your own food to gatherings that are not bariatric friendly. Who knows, your dish might be the hit of the party! 

Some Things to Avoid

As you might already be thinking, what things should you avoid at a summer BBQ? Sugary drinks are definitely something you should avoid. Skip the beer too. Those who have received bariatric surgery do not process alcohol the same way they did before surgery. Also, try to avoid sweet sauces like BBQ sauce. You might want to try sauces that are low in sugar, like Worcestershire sauce. To replace dessert, try bringing a fruit salad with yogurt dip. 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated in the summer heat is a must for anyone, regardless of if they have had bariatric surgery. You might find that many of the drinks offered are not appropriate for your diet. Be sure to stay hydrated this summer and consume at least 64 ounces of a calorie free beverage. Sip on water in between snacks and meals, so you avoid becoming dehydrated.  

Enjoy the Moment

It’s summer, so don’t forget to have fun at your summer BBQ. Plan your meals and portions ahead of time to relieve any stress. Instead of regular water, try infusing different fruits into your water. Bring a healthy dish that you think everyone will enjoy. Sit back and enjoy the moment. If you do want to enjoy your favorite foods, stick to just small amounts. Time to savor the flavor in every bite!


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