The summer time is usually a season filled with trips to the beach and summer BBQs. For some, all the summer eating and extra drinking can lead bariatric surgery patients off track. How can you still enjoy all the summer fun without undoing your hard work? Below are some tips to get through the summer months like a pro.
- Offer to make or bring a dish to a picnic or BBQ that is both healthy and tasty. Some suggestions are: mouth-watering fruit salad and marinated and grilled chicken and vegetables.
- Use the smallest plate available or bring your own small paper plates to use. Remember — big plates lead to larger portions and over eating.
- Eat your healthy protein first — whether it is grilled chicken or a hamburger patty — get that in first. That will help you reach your daily protein goal and better manage your appetite so you are less likely to over eat.
- Drink plenty of calorie free beverages. It is easy to become dehydrated post weight loss surgery and even easier in the hot, humid summer months. Make sure you have plenty of water or calorie free, non-carbonated beverages available.
- Watch those “slider foods”! Slider foods are usually high carb snack foods, such as chips, popcorn, crackers, cookies, etc. that do not offer much nutrition, do not keep you full very long and go down way too easy — hence the name slider foods. Slider foods are often in abundance at picnics and BBQs. If you want to have these foods take 1 handful or 1 cookie and walk away. Do not sit or stand near these foods or you will wind up grazing on them.
- Take a look at what is being served at the picnic or BBQ and determine what your best options are and plan accordingly. Remember to follow your bariatric meal plan — protein first, then vegetables, followed by carbs.
- Get active! Plan physical activities during summer outings! There are many fun outdoor games – volleyball, badminton, horse shoes or just go for a walk. Not only will you burn extra calories, you will have some fun and get away from all that tempting food!
If you are getting off track and need guidance — make an appointment to see the dietitian and get back on track!
Dietitian’s Corner is a monthly column for post-op and pre-op patients of bariatric surgery in NJ written by Prime Surgicare’s Lori Skurbe. Lori has been a dietitian for over 20 years with an extensive background in weight management, bariatric nutrition and diabetes education.