Tips for Eating Out After Bariatric Surgery
After bariatric surgery, it’s important to make sure all your meals contain essential vitamins and minerals, given that your portion sizes will be significantly smaller than before. You won’t need to give up your favorite foods, though you may need to modify how and what you eat to stay on the path to weight loss.
Eating out after bariatric surgery can still be incredibly fun, even if you need to pay closer attention to what goes into your body. Treating yourself to meals out is a great way to relax and socialize, and it gives you a much-needed break from cooking after spending lots of time in your kitchen at home.
Here are tips on eating out after bariatric surgery.
Research the Menu In Advance
Visit the restaurant’s website to familiarize yourself with its menu so you can plan that day’s meals accordingly. This will give you a better idea of what to order when you get there, and it also helps you avoid any last-minute temptations when you arrive hungry.
Many restaurants serve extremely large portions, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it all in one sitting. At the time your meal is served, ask for a take-home box so you can instantly put away the amount you won’t be eating. Then, you can stretch out leftovers over one or two more meals at home.
Prioritize What You Eat
Focus on eating only the healthiest foods on your plate first before moving on to foods that offer fewer nutrients. For example, eat all the vegetables and lean proteins on your plate before moving on to simple carbs like bread or pasta.
Choose the Right Sides
Macaroni and cheese and french fries are some of the most popular side dishes, but options like these are highly filling and often lack important nutrients. When choosing side dishes, opt for extra vegetables and avoid foods that are high in starch and fats.
Chew your food slowly and thoroughly, as this promotes good digestion and can prevent overeating. This mindful eating practice can also help you enjoy and savor your foods more fully.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Soda, lemonade and mixed cocktails are examples of drinks that are high in sugar and calories and that offer little to no nutritional benefits. Stick to beverages like water and herbal tea that won’t compromise your weight-loss efforts.
Choose the Healthiest Cooking Methods
Foods that are fried are typically made using high-fat corn, canola and vegetable oils. Avoid fried foods at all costs and stick to foods prepared using healthier cooking methods such as grilled, roasted, steamed, baked or boiled.
Ask for Sauces on the Side
Some meals are served with a higher amount of sauces (such as butter, sour cream and salad dressings) than are needed to give it amazing flavor. Always ask to have sauces like these served on the side so you can control the amount you eat.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking lots of water at mealtimes can help you fill up faster, so you eat less food. It also promotes good digestion so you can feel better after eating.
Eating out after bariatric surgery isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first glance. Many restaurants are happy to serve options for health-conscious individuals who may be trying to lose excess weight or stay on top of nutrition. Allow yourself to fully enjoy the experience and give yourself credit for making wise nutrition choices!
Advanced Laparoscopic Associates offers several bariatric surgeries, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and LAP-BAND surgery. Contact us today to request an appointment to find out if you’re an ideal candidate for any of our weight-loss surgeries.