The warm weather that summer brings is a perfect excuse to have cookouts with family and friends. While it’s a great time to catch up with them and enjoy the weather, cooking and eating are typically the highlights of summer cookouts, and if you just came from a weight loss surgery you must be careful with what you put on your plate.

Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville shares tips to help you enjoy those summer cookouts without feeling deprived.

  1. Survey your options
    With a wide array of food choices, it’s easy to overindulge at a summer cookout. A good thing to do to keep you from overloading is to survey your options before diving in. Look at your protein choices first, and opt for healthier, lighter options.
  2. Opt for lean meats
    Hotdogs and burgers may be considered staples in the classic summer cookout, but if you have recently undergone bariatric surgery, they’re not going to be your best option. These foods are high in fat and often come with carb-filled buns and unhealthy condiments. Instead, check out the lean proteins on the picnic table. If you’re weeks into recovery (about 8 weeks), you can slowly introduce lean meats back into your diet. Chicken skewers are great choices as they are a leaner meat and come in smaller bites. When mixed with the right ingredients, these skewers can satisfy those barbecue cravings.
  3. Be smart with grilling ingredients
    The key to having tasty food without compromising your diet restrictions is by getting creative with your grilling and marinade ingredients. You can add flavor to your food with just a few spoonfuls of low-sodium tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder. Adding pepper lemon or lime can also help in adding a zing to your grilled food.
  4. Choose healthier desserts
    When it comes to desserts, you should skip the cake-basedand ice cream treats and opt for healthier alternatives, like fruits or a chocolate protein drink.
  5. Savor your food
    The key to enjoying summer cookouts without feeling deprived is to completely chew and savor each bite. Eat slowly and enjoy the company of your friends and family. This can help you feel satisfied without overstuffing yourself.

If you plan to attend a cookout without any idea of what your food options will be, it’s smart to come prepared. You may want to cook compliant meals at home ahead of time to bring along with you.

Remember; you don’t have to miss out on the fun of summer cookouts just because you’re adjusting to a new way of eating! Keep your long-term health goals in sight when you feel like caving for temporary satisfaction. Focus less on the food, and more on the COMPANY at the table.