Tips to Navigate Your Spring Calendar After Bariatric Surgery


Spring flowers

Are you ready for the warmer weather spring and summer?


Spring has officially started!


Spring brings not only warmer weather and longer days, but also a myriad of often challenging social events ALL centred around food!


BBQs, lively backyard parties, ice cream in town, picnics at the park, drawn out happy hours, pitchers of beer, icy poles at the beach, marshmallows around a campfire, beer on the balcony and the list goes on…


Our bariatric/weight loss surgery patients often tell us that they find the spring/summer season one of the most challenging times of the year, coming second only to the Christmas holiday season.


Why is Spring challenging for Bariatric patients?

  • Schedules and meal times tend to be more lenient.

  • The kids are off school and in full on vacation mode.

  • The social calendar is fuller than ever. Even weeknights are no longer off limits.

  • Nostalgic summer foods and refreshing drinks seem to be everywhere and oh so tempting!

We want you to enjoy summer just like everyone else, but if your goal is weight maintenance or if you are still within 1 year postop, it is important to stay mindful.


Here are some of our TOP TIPS to enjoy spring after bariatric surgery

BBQ group in spring


1. BBQs & BACKYARD PARTIES


Snags on the barbie, Hamburgers, onion rings and steaks, 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 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:

  • Legume/bean salad

  • Barbecue ready aluminum foil packets filled with marinated fish or chicken and vegetables. Encasing your foods in foil packets traps in the moisture making your foods tenderer.

  • Tuna or egg salad served with crackers

  • Hard shell tacos

  • Skewers of watermelon + bocconcini cheese + basil or mint leaves, drizzled with balsamic vinegar

  • Homemade smoothie icypoles (great option if you are only days postop!)


ice cream for bariatric surgery patients


2. ICE CREAM


We are often asked by our patients “How often can I have ice cream?” and “How much ice cream can I have?”


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)?


If yes, you are at risk of experiencing dumping syndrome with sweet foods like ice cream. Limit your portions of ice cream to simply tastings (ex. ¼ cup portions) or try these lower sugar options…


Opt for fresh seasonal fruits


Invest in a homemade ice cream maker.


For an instant cool treat, add in 1 full-sized container of vanilla yogurt + fresh seasonal fruit. Delicious!


Try one of the many savory balsamic strawberry recipes on the internet for something different.


alcohol for bariatric surgery patient


3. ALCOHOL