Summer time is often a fun time of year. Many people go down the shore, have family vacations, backyard BBQs and more social events. For a Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) patient navigating through the food and beverages can be very challenging. Below are tips to stay on track and still enjoy the summer.
Be Mindful of Your Bariatric Plate
Even at summer time gatherings you still want to get your protein in and get it in first. The good news is most BBQs and picnics have some type of healthy protein. Look for grilled chicken or burgers (no bun) to enjoy first. Eat vegetables are second and carbs are last, if you have “room.”
Watch Your Portions
It is very important to stay hydrated all year round and get in 64 or more ounces of calorie free, caffeine free beverages daily. However, during the hot and humid summer months, you are more likely to become dehydrated if you are not careful. Make sure you are sipping appropriate fluids between all meals.
Caution with Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor and mixed drinks)
More social gatherings can mean more alcoholic beverages. Keep in my mind an occasional adult beverage is usually not a problem. However, alcohol is very high in calories and can affect your ability to lose weight and maintain weight loss. In addition, Weight loss surgery patients do not process alcohol the same way they did before surgery. WLS patients get drunk faster and on much less alcohol – so be very careful when you drink – have a designated driver. If you feel your drinking is becoming a problem – do not hesitate to get help.
Summer is the best time to be active! Walking, biking, swimming, jogging, hiking and summer sports can make staying active easier. Make sure your social calendar does not take away time from your regular physical activity.
Control Your Options
If it is appropriate, bring a dish to a BBQ or picnic that is bariatric friendly, such as marinated grilled chicken, fresh fruit salad or cut up, raw vegetables with a low calorie dip. When you can bring your own food, you control what you eat.
When traveling, do a little research to find out what types of restaurants are in the area you will be visiting. Many restaurants have their menus online and many chain restaurants have the nutrition information online. This information can help you make more healthful meal choices. If it is possible, stay at a hotel that has a kitchen in the room so you can cook more of your meals – not only is this cheaper, but it puts you in control over what you eat.
Too often social gatherings are about the foods and beverages and not about the people! When we take the focus off food – we become empowered! Try not to make social events and vacations about the food, make them about family, friends and fun!
Navigating the summer social scene can still be fun and not cause weight regain or put your weight loss at a stall. With some pre planning and mindful eating you can stay on track!
Dr. Seun Sowemimo and Dr. Bennet Togbe are board-certified and fellowship-trained, general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons in NJ. They specialize in minimally invasive weight loss surgery and general surgery procedures including diverticulitis, gallbladder and hernia conditions. They are the top NJ surgeons at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties.
To learn more, visit our YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.