After bariatric surgery, going out to eat at restaurants or in a public setting can be nerve-wracking while still trying to maintain a healthy diet to lose weight, but fret no more! This bariatric dining-out guide will help you enjoy a meal with friends and family while staying focused on your weight loss goals.
Important: Always follow all post-op diet guidelines and adjust to your current phase.
Don’t forget to bring your special menu request card to order a kid’s meal or smaller portions when going to your favorite restaurant after bariatric surgery.
How to Successfully Dine Out After Bariatric Surgery
A great way to stick to a nutritious diet is to meal prep and plan, but if you are in a time crunch and have to grab something quickly, many bariatric-friendly options are available. An alternative is to stop at a grocery store and pick up some deli meat, yogurt, or a protein shake.
If you plan on going to a sit-down dinner or ordering takeout, here are some tips to reduce the stress and keep you on track while dining out after bariatric surgery:
- View the menu beforehand: Most menus are available online, and looking at them ahead of time can lessen the anxiety and pressure of ordering quickly.
- Be creative: If something you like on the menu isn’t bariatric-friendly, ask if you can substitute or take things out to make it fit your diet requirements.
- If possible, choose the place: Choosing a place to eat can help ensure you have good low-calorie food choices wherever you go.
- Look for specific foods: Focus on foods that are grilled, baked, sauteed, or boiled. Avoid fattening and high-calorie foods that are fried, battered, and breaded.
- Pick a high-protein appetizer: Fulfilling your daily protein requirements can help you avoid overeating and unnecessary carbs.
- Enjoy the company: Eat slowly and focus on the company to avoid overeating.
- Follow the 30-minute drinking rule: This can be tough for a bariatric patient to follow in social settings, but it can help you avoid feeling full quickly, allowing you to enjoy your food.
Best Bariatric-Friendly Choices
It can be challenging to find bariatric-friendly restaurants when sticking to a low-carb diet, so here are some ideas of what you can have when it comes to different cuisines.
- Veggie omelet
- Oatmeal with fruit
- Turkey bacon
- Greek yogurt parfaits
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fruit cups
- Poached eggs
- Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
- Burger with no bun
- Lettuce wrapped burger
- Grilled/baked chicken
- Sandwich as salad
- Patty with a salad
- Beware of breaded products
- No fries. Most places will offer a salad as an alternative
- Ribs without sauces
- Burger without buns
- Lettuce wraps
- Salad with an oil-based dressing
- Seafood without breading/batter
- Kebabs with salad
- Greek salad
- Baba Ghanoush without pita
- Gyro meat with salad
- Grilled veggies with salad
- Grilled chicken with salad
- Grilled fish with salad
- Grilled lamb with salad
- Hummus and veggies
- Chicken shawarma
- Lentil soup
- No rice or noodles
- Coconut curries without rice
- Tom Yum soup
- Tam Kha soup
- Stir Fry without sweetened sauces
- Miso soup
- Seaweed salad
- Naruto rolls
- Beware of sugary sauces
- Ask for rolls without rice
- Egg-drop soup
- Hot and sour soup
- Pork spare ribs without sauce
- Roasted duck
- Mixed vegetables with tofu
- Chicken and vegetable stirfry
- Ask for sauces and dips on the side
- Chicken, steak, or shrimp fajita mix on lettuce w/ guacamole or sliced avocado
- Salad or bowls with meat, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and guacamole
- Taco salad without the shell
- Carne asada
- Chile Verde
- Black beans
- Antipasto Salad
- Caprese salad
- Meat with marsala sauce
- Salad with grilled meat
- Grilled vegetables
- Grilled calamari
- Roasted chicken or fish
- Tandoori Chicken
- Saag Paneer
- Chicken vindaloo
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