For those of you pursuing a medical weight loss plan, your loved ones might pose some of your biggest challenges. You love your friends and family, and want to spend time with them… But social outings can quickly present difficult obstacles for those attempting to follow a healthy eating plan.

In particular, you’re probably hoping to enjoy a few backyard barbecues this summer. But the food served at these gatherings is notoriously unhealthy! Follow this guide to sorting through your options, and definitely keep it in mind if you’re hosting an event or taking a dish to a potluck.

From the bar… It’s better to skip alcohol altogether, but there are low-calorie ways to indulge in a cocktail with friends. Add some fruit and a shot of your favorite liquor to a glass of sparking water, and you can probably keep the drink at about 100 calories.

From the grill… Avoid burgers and hot dogs, and reach for a grilled chicken breast or some shrimp skewers instead. Chicken is filling and provides plenty of protein, while shrimp might feel like a bit of a treat. Shrimp is a good choice for another reason, too; it’s packed with choline, an essential nutrient that supports your metabolism.

And what about steak? Most cuts are too fatty, but it is possible to treat yourself occasionally. Opt for a small serving of a lean cut, such as sirloin.

Veggies… Skip mayonnaise-heavy salads, like potato salad, and opt for fiber-rich corn on the cob instead. Baste it with fresh herbs or garlic powder, and you can enjoy a surprisingly savory treat. Colorful, festive veggie kabobs are another terrific option. And what about your classic baked beans? Some recipes are loaded with sugar, so it might be better to skip them altogether. Salads made from beans or peas might be a better alternative.

And finally, dessert… The great thing about summer gatherings is the likelihood that fresh, locally-sourced fruit will be served. Fill up on watermelon, or try a small serving of fruit crisp if it is offered. It’s still a little heavy on the calories, but a far better choice than pies or cakes.

As always, give us a call if you’re facing an obstacle to your medical weight loss plan. We can help you devise coping strategies that keep you on track toward your goals.