Going Out to Eat After Weight Loss Surgery

It’s natural to feel a little nervous about going out to eat after weight loss surgery. Follow these tips to keep you on track.

If you’ve successfully made it through your weight loss journey, you know how important it is to have support from your friends and family. They can hold you accountable to your weight loss goals and give you the motivation you need to overcome obesity

Treating your support system to a meal at a nice restaurant is a great way to connect meaningfully and show your thanks. You can still enjoy delicious and flavorful foods with your friends after weight loss surgery — you just have to be mindful of what goes on your plate. Follow these five tips for staying healthy while eating out after bariatric surgery. 

Tips for Dining Out and Eating Well

1. Plan What You’re Going to Order Beforehand

Most restaurants have websites where you can order online and scroll through the different dishes they offer. Before you go out, check the menu online and plan what you’re going to order. If you know what you want before you sit down at the table, you’re less likely to be tempted by decadent entrees. Look for dishes that are “steamed,” “grilled,” or “baked,” instead of “fried,” “smothered,” or “breaded.”   

2. Skip the Free Bread

After weight loss surgery, it’s best to say no to the complimentary bread. Pre-dinner snacks like chips and salsa or slices of bread dipped in olive oil are “slider foods” — addicting munchies that are easy to eat too much of and won’t keep you satisfied. If you’re going to a popular restaurant and think you might end up waiting a while for your table, bring an emergency granola bar or small bag of unsalted nuts to snack on so you won’t be ravenous. 

3. Don’t Drink Your Calories

So much emphasis is placed on making healthy choices with food during weight loss that many people forget that beverages can be full of calories as well. Stay away from sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and juice. A tall glass of water is always your best option! If you want a little something bubbly to toast with during pre-dinner cocktails, try sparkling water.  

4. Fill Up on Protein and Veggies

If the restaurant has a “light” menu, this step becomes much easier! Light menus typically contain dishes that have fewer calories and feature more vegetables. Opt for lean proteins like chicken, turkey, tofu, and white fish like cod or tilapia. If your meal normally comes with starchy sides like butter-laden mashed potatoes, ask the server if you can substitute a side salad or steamed vegetables.

5. Keep an Eye on Your Portions

Did you know that most restaurant portions are so huge that there’s actually enough food on your plate for two meals? Restaurateurs want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, so they tell the chef to make you as full as possible. Be sure to ask the server how big your prospective meal is before ordering and if you think that’s too big, ask them to box half of it and only bring half to the table so you won’t be tempted to eat the whole thing.  

Ready to Dig In?

If you want to learn more about how bariatric surgery can change your life, reach out to the weight loss professionals at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors. Our team is well-versed in all aspects of the weight loss journey, including post-surgery nutrition. Contact us today to set up an appointment!