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Managing Barbeques Following Weight Loss Surgery

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Summer in Australia means barbeque time! We love to entertain and there is nothing more enjoyable than catching up with friends and family and enjoying a good barbeque. However following weight loss surgery many of our favourite barbeque foods are those that can be more challenging to tolerate; grilled meats, chicken, sausages, bread, sauce and salads fill plates and soft drink, beer and wine are plentiful. The buzzing social aspect of barbeques can also mean the focus on your eating technique is not as sharp. Due to these challenges, some people may find invitations to barbeques make them feel uneasy.

With some forward planning in place and an awareness of common barbeque traps, there is no reason you shouldn’t be welcoming your next invite.

Common Barbeque Trap 1: Dry, overcooked meat and chicken

We have all been there, you head over to the grill to see a pile of meat looking rather dry and shriveled – no matter how much you chew this, or how much sauce you add there is just no way you are going to tolerate it.

So how do you manage this?

  • Offer to take something to contribute to the grill that is will be more tender when cooked and easier to tolerate:
  • Make some lean minced meat patties (adding plenty of egg and relish to your mix to ensure they stay moist).
  • Marinate chicken thigh fillets and thread onto skewers.
  • Wrap salmon fillets in foil with lemon and herbs and pop on the grill near the end of the cooking time.
  • Tenderise some good quality steak with marinade and again pop on the grill, again near the end of cooking.

Common Barbeque Trap 2: You overload your plate and push your capacity 

With the wide array of choices at a BBQ it can be tempting to have a little bit of everything, leading to a plate that is overflowing.

To manage this:

  • Make sure you use a side plate/small plate.
  • Fill half of this with protein, this may mean you only select one to two of the options on offer. 
Pick your favourite salad items to fill the other half of your plate – avoid those drowned in creamy dressings.
  • Avoid the bread and butter.

Common Barbeque Trap 3: You forget to focus on your eating technique

It can be very easy to be engaged in conversation and forget to eat slowly and chew well at barbeques, yet focusing on these fundamentals can be the difference between a successful outing and one that sends you home feeling poorly. 

To manage this:

  • First and foremost, ensure you sit down to eat.
  • Cut your food into very small pieces, chew each mouthful well and take time between mouthfuls.
  • Stop when you are satisfied and remember this may be before your plate is empty.

Managed well, barbeques can be both an enjoyable and healthy part of your social calendar this summer. Just be aware of these common traps and plan ahead to avoid them. 

I'm a vegetarian with food allergies. I always bring my own food. If I can trust the person who made it, I may partake of a bit of salad. You can always just say, "Sorry I'm on a diet".

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