Dining out is often an enjoyable social experience, however, bariatric surgery patients may experience difficulty in deciding what to order. Don’t be discouraged by a large menu. Look to order the foods that fit into your dietary recommendations. Everyone serves meats and vegetables! It is absolutely possible to eat healthfully while dining out; the important factor is choosing sensible options.
Here are some helpful tips for dining out:
- Always center your meal around a protein food. Chicken, beef, fish. Avoid anything breaded or fried.
- Substitute starchy sides for non-starchy vegetables. For example, steamed or roasted vegetables instead of a baked potato.
- Ask for salad dressings or other condiments on the side, and be mindful to use sparingly.
- Ask for half portions, share with a friend, or ask ahead of time for a to-go box and put half of your meal in the box so you are not tempted to overeat.
- Avoid children’s menus. While portion sizes tend to be smaller, the foods offered are not always the best choice (such as chicken fingers, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese).
- Ask that breads or chips brought before the meal not be served. Or chew on sugar free gum until your meal comes.
- Remember to be conscious about your eating! It can be easy to be distracted with visiting while eating out, so be diligent about keeping your bite sizes small, chewing well, and pausing in between your bites.