Ayotunde O. Adeyeri, M.D.- Bariatric Surgeon
Now that the warm weather has returned, we’re justifiably ready to kick back, let loose and enjoy every minute of the summer. But for bariatric warriors, the social challenges of managing a bevy of barbecues, pool parties and summer vacations can be stressful. Unlike managing a one-day holiday, summer is 84 days long.
The good news is you can enjoy an icy treat or eat a mini-burger and not face catastrophic weight gain. As you’ve heard several times from your Institute for Weight Loss team… success is built from creating a plan in advance. Manage your planned occasions and spontaneous outings so you aren’t caught off guard. Here are 10 easy tips to follow to ensure you have a great summer—and stay on your weight loss or weight maintenance track:
1. Bring a healthy and tasty dish to a picnic or BBQ, such as a bountiful fresh fruit salad, platter of marinated grilled vegetables or chicken strips, are always welcomed.
2. Use the smallest plate available for your meal. After you eat, decide if you are full or need a second plate of food to feel 80% full.
3. Eat your healthy protein first — look for a turkey burger or grilled chicken.
4. Drink plenty of water or 0-calorie beverages. It is easy to become dehydrated post-weight loss surgery and even easier in the hot, humid summer months.
5. Ignore the snack bowls laden with preservatives, salt and hidden sugar. They don’t fill you up and are chemically designed to make you crave more. Pack a personal Ziplock bag with mini snacks prescribed by your dietitian.
6. Peruse all of the food options before you dive in. Most parties will offer veggie or turkey burgers, lettuce and tomatoes and vegetable options. Fill up on melon, berries and other summer produce favorites.
7. Remember to follow your bariatric meal plan — protein first, then vegetables, then a carbohydrate.
8. Get active and get off the sidelines. Play with the kids or join the adults playing team sports. Grab a Frisbee and play with a friend while you catch up.
9. Carry your water bottle around–just keep it filled with non-sweetened iced tea or water.
10. Don’t waste calories on alcohol. It’s too easy to drink your daily calorie target, become intoxicated and ultimately overeat.
As you can see, having surgical weight loss doesn’t mean you will be left out of the fun. Rather, you are approaching food, drinks and socializing differently to achieve and preserve your health goals. Rest assured, the people around you will observe your new approach and be impressed and inspired. At tonight’s meeting, you’ll learn more tools to have a ball this summer—and keep the scale moving in a positive direction.