Eating Out Post Bariatric Surgery – Bariatric Edition

Ideas for eating out and how to make good decisions.

We all try our best not to eat out all the time but there are times when we find ourselves at a social gathering or on a date night or with a group of friends and the meeting is at a restaurant.  It is important to have a food plan in place before arriving to the restaurant so that you are not caught off guard and make poor food decisions.  You want to be able to enjoy yourself but stick with your new eating plan at the same time.

If you’ve had bariatric surgery, you know that you have restriction and that how you ordered your food at a restaurant in the past is no longer an option because of a few reasons.  The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you are open to telling everybody that you have had bariatric surgery.  If you are keeping this to yourself, then it will be kind of difficult to explain your way out of why you only ate two bites off of your plate and that you are now full. Your friends will wonder what is going on with you.  

In this situation you can always order your way around the menu so that you get a more soft option such as a soup.  It is also a great idea to eat very slowly so not to fill up quite as quickly.  Take small bites and chew a lot to avoid getting too full too quickly.

If you are open to telling others about your bariatric surgery, then it gets a bit easier because you can automatically ask the wait-staff if they have half portions or if they are okay with you ordering only an appetizer and not a full course meal.  If you choose to have a full course meal, choose something that you can take with you and that will be good for reheating.  A big chicken caesar salad is great “in the moment” but when you get it home and the lettuce is wilted, it just won’t taste the same.

Today all restaurants have their menus online.  It is always a good idea to take a look at the menu prior to arriving in order to make a food decision before you get there.  It’s never a good idea to leave it up to temptation when you are hungry or nervous.  Place your order in your head before you arrive and that will be one less thing to worry about. 

I salute you on your journey to excellent health.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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