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Going to Restaurants After Weight Loss Surgery

Odds are that, going through the journey of weight loss surgery, you’ve been eating at home a LOT!  But, inevitably, at some point, you’re going to get invited to a restaurant.  Whether it’s a family outing, a holiday celebration, a work function, a date, etc., the day will come!  It can be a scary idea if you have been mindfully preparing your own food for many months.  But, fear not!  You can, in fact, stay on track and still enjoy a meal at a restaurant.  Read on to get some tips.

Restaurants can feel daunting to patients after bariatric surgery so VIPSurg gives tips on navigating eating out

First things first, make sure you’re ready.  If you are still in the early stages (for example, on a pureed diet), it’s probably best to avoid restaurants.  They’re unlikely to have many (if any) options for you.  Even if you are just barely back to eating normal foods, you may not be ready.  Make sure you’re fully healed and have successfully re-introduced a variety of foods to your diet to ensure your stomach tolerates them.  Nobody wants to get sick in the middle of a restaurant!

Once you’ve decided you’re ready for restaurants, do yourself a favor and look up the menu beforehand.  Study the options while you have plenty of time to focus and choose something that will be a healthy meal for you.  You might think that the kid’s menu is the best place to start.  But, although those portions are smaller, the meals are usually unhealthy.  You’ll be better off going for an entree of grilled meat and a healthy side, knowing that you can likely get 3 meals (or more) out of it.

Once at the restaurant, avoids appetizers and desserts.  If you fill up on them, you won’t have room for a proper meal anyway.  Focus on the conversation and enjoying the experience.  Try not to drink anything during the meal – at least 45 minutes before and after your meal is OK.  And drink water – this helps you avoid empty calories.  When your meal comes, remember to take small bites, chew thoroughly and eat slowly.  You’re going to get full much faster than any time you’ve been to restaurants before.  By eating slower, you will prevent getting uncomfortably full and you won’t be finished eating WAY before everyone else!  And be sure to ask for your leftovers in a box.  You can get creative with them and turn them into a few more healthy, tasty meals!

Following these guidelines can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals while still enjoying going out to restaurants.  Learning how to successfully eat at restaurants will become a valuable skill for your new life!