Here’s the 3rd of our GUEST POSTS from bariatric dieticians Monica & Lisa. At the beginning of July I think we can officially say that summer is now in full swing and with it comes a multitude of temptations, hazards and challenges. They understand all of these my bariatric friends, and have some sage advice for you to heed and follow so that you are not side-tracked into regain ….
Summer has officially started!
Summer brings not only warmer weather and longer days, but also a myriad of often challenging social events ALL centered around food!
BBQs, lively backyard parties, ice cream in town, picnics at the park, drawn out happy hours, pitchers of sangria, popsicles on the front porch, smores around a campfire, beer on the terrace and the list goes on…
Our bariatric/weight loss surgery patients often tell us that they find the summer season one of the most challenging times of the year, coming second only to the Christmas holiday season.
Here are some of our TOP TIPS…
BBQs & BACKYARD PARTIES! – Hamburgers, hot dogs and ribs, oh my!
If you’re the host, prepare marinated chicken and vegetable skewers. Skewers make perfect postop portions, but at the same time are an appropriate option for your other guests.
Have you recently had surgery? There is a high likelihood that overcooked barbecue meats may be difficult for you to tolerate (i.e. causing a “stuck” feeling along with a lot of discomfort). Untoasted buns and bread may do the same. If this is the case, prepare a ‘safe food’ for the event. This means bringing a food that you know you tolerate well. Don’t just wing it! There is nothing worse than feeling sick or vomiting at a party.
Examples of safe foods for those of you who are recently postop:
Remember that all foods fit after surgery. Ice cream is no different. We recommend our patients simply be mindful of their portions and indulge every now and then as opposed to daily.
Sugar is addictive. The more you have, the more you want. If you had difficulty limiting sweets before surgery, consider limiting sweets after surgery to avoid falling back into the old habits. For example, instead of having a whole tub of ice cream in your freezer (which may be too tempting), allow yourself to have a child-sized cone once a week in town with friends.
Another important consideration is: Did you have a gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)?
Alcohol is absorbed much faster into your bloodstream after surgery. For this reason, the effects can be intense. It is often said that 1 drink after surgery is equivalent to the feeling of 4-6 drinks before surgery! Patients often laugh about this statistic, but it is no joke.
We recommend our patients limit themselves to one standard drink per evening and to serve it in ½ portions (Ex. ½ glass of wine + ice cubes).
Never drive after drinking, regardless of the amount! Even one standard drink can raise your blood alcohol concentration above the legal driving limit.
Remember that beer is also carbonated. Carbonated drinks (Ex. soda and fizzy water) are generally discouraged after surgery because it is suspected that they can stretch out your stomach with regular consumption. Whether or not this is actually the case has yet to be proven, but carbonation aside, beer and carbonated mixed drinks contain calories, and a lot of them!
Patients often ask, “But what the heck am I supposed to drink this summer if I can’t have soda, beer, mixed drinks, fizzy water or more than 1 glass of wine!”
This is a valid question. We admit that the alternatives are not super exciting.
Wishing you all a great start to your summer!
– Lisa & Monica