Will I Be Able To Dine At Restaurants After Bariatric Surgery?
Patients considering bariatric surgery often wonder how much It will affect their social life after recovery. Dining out with family and friends is a great way to stay in touch and enjoy some time together. But, considering that the procedure involves the stomach, you can’t be blamed for wondering if you’ll be able to enjoy going to restaurants after bariatric surgery like you did before.
How to Enjoy Dining Out with Family and Friends Following Bariatric Surgery
You can absolutely look forward to enjoying restaurant meals after weight-loss surgery, but you’ll need to be more mindful about your eating habits, including what and how much you eat.
Here are a few tips that will help you do just that.
- Plan Ahead – First and foremost, don’t feel pressured to eat like everyone else. Other diners may order unhealthy meals—don’t let that deter you or make you feel bad for choosing to eat healthily. It helps to check out the restaurant menu online before you go. Words like “steamed”, “broiled”, “roasted”, and “garden-fresh” often indicate healthier options. Restaurants want your business so don’t hesitate to make special requests such as: “Could I have the dressing on the side?”, “Will you bring a to-go box with my meal?”, or “Could you please not bring bread or chips to our table?”
- Protein First – The portion sizes for all your meals, in restaurants and at home, will be smaller. So look for menu items that prioritize protein, including chicken, beef, fish and eggs. Avoid foods that may be difficult to swallow, such as steak, bread and fibrous vegetables like asparagus. If you haven’t had a successful experience with a certain food at home, it might be best to avoid trying it for the first time at a restaurant.
- Order smaller portions – It’s one thing to know you need to watch how much you eat, but quite another to put that into practice when a big plate of food arrives. To help you stick to portion sizes, make choices from the appetizer or kid’s menus; ask someone at the table if they would like to share a meal; and/or get a doggie bag with your meal so you can put away half of it before you even start eating.
- Avoid mixing liquids and solids – Don’t drink with your meals since liquids may push food down and allow you to fit more food in your Sleeve. It is best to avoid liquids 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after a meal.
Want to learn more about bariatric surgery? Check out our post “Gastric Sleeves: How They Work, Surgery, And Who Should Have It”.