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Tips for Eating Out After Bariatric Surgery

A group of adults having dinner at a restaurant.

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Eating out at a restaurant is an enjoyable pastime for many people. But for those who’ve had weight loss surgery, dining out can come with some challenges in terms of portion sizes and nutrition.

But with a little preparation and smart ordering, you can still enjoy eating out after bariatric surgery. Keep reading to learn expert tips.

Plan Ahead

Before you head out to the restaurant of your choice, hop online and take a look at their menu in advance. That way, you can plan out your meal and know exactly what you’re getting into before you go. It’s like having a strategy in place so there won’t be any surprises — and you’ll already know if there are things you can eat that align with your weight loss goals.

Pick items that are roasted, steamed, grilled or baked, and avoid ones that are fried, sautéed, battered or braised.

If you’re newly post-op, look for foods you’ve already added back into your diet. That way, you’ll avoid any foods you don’t tolerate well.

Protein First, Veggies Next

It’s important to get your protein in when you’ve had bariatric surgery, and it fills you up faster so it’s best to start with your protein. Be sure to include at least 3 ounces of protein with each meal.

After you choose your protein, add some vegetables to your dish. Substitute a salad or mixed vegetables instead of French fries, chips or pasta. It’s best to avoid starchy foods and rich sauces.

Split your Meal in Half

Restaurant portions can be large – sometimes up to three times the recommended serving size.

To help manage your calorie intake, ask if the restaurant offers half or lunch-sized portions and order the smaller version instead.

You can also opt for an appetizer rather than an entrée for your meal. Appetizers are portioned smaller than main courses, so it might just be ideal to pick your favorite one as your entrée.

Box It Up

If there isn’t an option for a smaller portion size, you can ask your server for a box and put away half for another day before you start eating. Then you have the leftovers to look forward to later.

Practice Mindful Eating

Be in the moment and savor the selection you chose. Pay attention to each bite, how it makes you feel and when your body tells you its full. Enjoy your food and eat it slowly.

After weight loss surgery, it’s important to stop eating when you reach the feeling of fullness. Eating more than your limit can cause discomfort.

Eating out when you’ve had bariatric surgery may take some extra planning and adjustment, but once you do that, you’ll quickly find that you can even get more enjoyment out of it. You’ll have the social interaction and new-found confidence in what you can eat to meet your weight loss goals.

We’re Your Partners in Your Weight Loss Journey

At AdventHealth, we’re with you every step of your weight loss journey. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, we’ll walk you through the pre-op process and help you adjust to your new healthy lifestyle after your operation.

For more information on our services, visit us here. You deserve to feel whole.

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