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Navigating Summer Barbecues After Weight-Loss Surgery

A woman and a young girl grilling vegetables at a backyard barbecue

With the unofficial start to summer – and cookout season – later this month, you’re likely to encounter some less-than-stellar fare along your weight-loss journey.

Block parties, barbecues, beach trips and baseball games all provide challenging eating environments for bariatric surgery patients.

We’re here to help with some tips for navigating summer soirees and avoiding party pitfalls to stay on track with your weight-loss goals.

Pick Proteins

Reach for proteins such as grilled chicken or hamburger.

These ballpark and backyard staples will help keep you full while also contributing to the 60 to 80 grams of protein you strive to consume daily.

Plan ahead

Map out what you’ll enjoy ahead of time to help avoid temptation and overindulgence.

Enjoy nutrient dense cookout staples such as fresh fruits and veggies, grilled lean meats and beans. Nix the high-fat mayo-based salads, sugary sauces and processed meats.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

While it’s important to remember to limit your alcohol intake and consume enough fluids year round, it’s crucial as the summer heats up.

You’re more likely to become dehydrated if you aren’t drinking enough fluids or drinking too much alcohol – a diuretic – in the heat and humidity. Keep a water bottle on hand to sip from on the go to get the necessary 48 to 64 ounces.

Contribute to the table

Rarely does a host turn down an offer for help. Volunteer to bring your own version of a summer favorite.

The entertainer will be happy to have something else to add to the spread, you’ll know there’s at least one bariatric-friendly side for you to enjoy and you’ll be less likely to give in to temptations.

Try this much lighter but still festive take on potato salad from Bariatric Cookery:

Not Just Any Old Potato Salad

Servings: 8


  • 1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 small dill pickles, sliced or chopped
  • handful of edamame (green soy beans), cooked and shelled
  • 3 spring onions or 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

Mix the potatoes with the pickles, soy beans and spring onions or mint.

Mix the Greek yogurt with the lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the potatoes and stir to mix and coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition facts: 86 calories, 7.55 grams of protein, 13.2 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of fat per serving.

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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