By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, Medical Director
Happy summer! Whether your happy place is ‘down the Shore,’ a family vacation, hosting a backyard BBQ or dining al fresco, your summer social life inevitably includes food. After weight loss surgery, navigating these happy events requires a little pre-planning to ensure you stay on course and your weight loss (or weight maintenance) stays on schedule. Our Sterling Surgicare bariatric team put together some of their top tips to help you stay on track—but also have a great time this summer:
1. Stay True to Your Bariatric Plate
Even at summer picnics, parties and dinners out, stick to your basic nutrition goals, starting with protein first. The good news is most BBQs and picnics offer at least one healthy protein. Look for grilled chicken or veggie or turkey burgers (no bun) to enjoy first. Load up on grilled vegetables and an oversized helping of salad. After you’ve enjoyed this, add a small carb, if absolutely necessary. Steer clear of processed foods and sweets.
2. Restaurant Pre-Planning
Before you leave for the restaurant, pull up the restaurant’s menu online and choose your meal. Remember, you can always choose a few appetizers or sides if the entrees don’t offer any healthy options.
These days, everyone is following some kind of weight management program, so feel free to specify to your server that you’d like your meal prepared with no butter or oil, dressing on the side, etc.
3. Remember Your Daily 64
Staying hydrated is essential for optimal bariatric health, particularly during the hot days of summer. Remember to get in your 64 ounces daily, so keep that non-carbonated water with you throughout your day and keep sipping—even at social events.
4. Imbibe with Care
Enjoying an occasional adult beverage is generally fine, but make your choice wisely. Bear in mind, your tolerance for alcohol is significantly lower due to your bariatric surgery. Choose wine or carbonation-free drinks over sugar-laden mixed and frozen drinks. A frozen margarita can have over 500 calories versus a glass of wine which contains about 90-110 calories.
5. Control Your Food Environment
Does your crowd go for burgers and ice cream sundaes over grilled fish and veggies? Then take control of your meal by bringing a bariatric-friendly healthy dish or two to the event. My wife and I can always be counted on to bring a big fresh fruit bowl and fresh veggies with a Greek yogurt dip that everyone loves.
Too often, social gatherings are about the food and not about the people! When you take the focus off food –you are empowered. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know; be more social than you normally may be, or talk less and listen more to others. Enjoy the surroundings and take note of what makes you feel joy.
Navigating the summer social scene can still be very enjoyable and not cause weight regain or put your weight loss at a stall. With a little planning and continued mindfulness, the summer of 2022 can be your best summer ever!
Are you interested in learning more about surgical weight loss? If you are new to weight loss surgery, we invite you to attend our virtual or in-person seminars which cover how to qualify for surgery and which operation might be best for you. If would like to confirm an in-person consultation with me, please call 732-217-3897 and we can schedule a meeting within the next week to 10 days. I look forward to meeting you soon! Dr. Adeyeri