Health Care

Navigating Social Situations After Bariatric Surgery

Three Colleagues Sit Outside Enjoying Lunch in the City.

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As you prepare for or recover from bariatric surgery, you might start realizing how much of your social life involves food. Family dinners, coffee dates, brunch with friends, and after-work get-togethers are all enjoyable times to socialize, but they can also be stressful when you’re trying to adapt to a new way of eating. Consider the following tips and tactics to help you stay on track while still enjoying time with friends and family.

Make a Plan

After weight loss surgery, you’ll soon find yourself more energized and perhaps even more willing to make social plans. But along with bariatric surgery comes navigating your new way of life, including your relationship with food.

It’s always up to you to decide how much you're comfortable sharing with others about your surgery and recovery. Whether you choose to speak openly about it or keep it to yourself for a while, your friends and family will notice a difference, not only in your weight but your lifestyle changes as well. Think ahead and prepare yourself for any questions your friends and family might have.

Your new lifestyle doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy food-focused gatherings, but you may need to do some planning in advance. Choose a restaurant you’re already familiar with, or spend some time researching a new restaurant’s menu ahead of time.

Eat slowly, socialize and enjoy yourself. Don’t feel pressured to overeat; remember, you can always take your leftovers home.

Alternative Social Gatherings

The next time your friends plan a get-together, suggest an activity that doesn’t revolve around food. Here are some ideas:

  • Get moving: Whether it’s a pick-up game of basketball, a dance lesson or a day at the batting cages, staying active with friends is a great way to adapt to your new physical capabilities and build a new, healthy routine
  • Learn something new: Step outside of your comfort zone and attend a pottery workshop or painting class to express your creativity
  • Spend time outdoors: Take a hike, hang out by the pool or visit a local park and reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine
  • Visit a bookstore: Pick out a new book and start a book club with friends as a new, fun way to connect with each other

Join Support Groups or Communities

Lasting weight loss requires a long-term commitment. It can sometimes feel challenging, but knowing you’re not alone in your journey toward better health is important. Many people find joining a weight loss support group can be especially helpful. These groups can be either online or in-person, but either way, they’re a great way to build community with people who understand your journey and find support as you navigate social situations after surgery.

Your Journey Starts Now

Your weight-loss journey can change your life, and we’re here to help with safe and effective procedures that have helped many people reach their goals. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, our compassionate and experienced bariatric specialists are prepared to help you each step of the way.

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