Dining out after surgery

It can be hard to know how to approach dining out at a restaurant after bariatric surgery. It may seem intimidating to know which options are the healthiest, you may feel pressure to eat like those around you, or you may just feel tempted to indulge. Following these tips will help you dine out comfortably—and healthily!

  • Be prepared. It helps to know about the restaurant beforehand, so you know what to expect. Try looking up a menu online, and looking for dishes that are marked as healthy (may be marked with a heart or a similar symbol.) You could also call the restaurant ahead of time.
  • Don’t be intimidated. When you’re at a restaurant, it’s your waiter’s job to help you find what you need. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about items on the menu, or to ask for changes to be made to a meal you’re ordering. 
  • Stick to the rules. Choose a meal that has the same nutritional content as what you eat every day such as lean proteins, fresh or cooked vegetables, or whole grains. Stick with meals that are baked, roasted, or grilled, and avoid ones that are fried or breaded.
  • Know thyself. If you know you have problems with certain foods at home, you may not want to try them in a restaurant setting. Remember those problem foods when you’re looking over the menu.
  • Practice mindful eating. To help you avoid temptation, follow the same rules to eat mindfully: chew slowly and think about each bite, put down your fork between each bite, or portion your food beforehand so you’re not tempted to eat it all in one sitting. 
  • Avoid peer pressure. Don’t worry about not finishing your meal. Your stomach is smaller now, so you won’t be able to eat as much food as the people around you. Leaving some food on your plate won’t hurt your waiter’s feelings, and that way you can even have leftovers for the next day!