How Is Eating Out After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric patients should not assume their post-op life is like torture. Many of my patients ask about eating out after bariatric surgery and whether they can do it or not. The direct answer is, yes you can. But you need to bear in mind one major rule: choose meals that are high in protein and low in carbs and fat. There are ways you can do this better like checking the menus before going out and choosing the dishes that tick these boxes. You can also ask for half a normal-sized portion or share your food with someone else. Keep reading this article to get the necessary information in detail.

Tips on Eating out After Bariatric Surgery

Eating out is not just about food, but more about socializing with your friends and family. As you learn some solutions to eat out more healthily, share your information with them too so that they can help you experience a better time as well. Let’s check out some of these tips.

Eating out After Bariatric Surgery

Some General, Handy Eating out Tips

As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, when it comes to eating out, the rule of thumb is to eat protein and avoid fats and carbs as much as you can. It might seem easy, but it takes some time for you to get used to the new situation, enjoy eating out after bariatric surgery, yet at the same time do not harm your health.

To do it all more efficiently, there are some tips I’m sure you’ll find effective. I recommend them to all my patients, and almost none of them has ever had a problem with eating at restaurants.

1- Choose the restaurant, check the menu items beforehand, and know what you are going to order.

2- Share your food with someone else. Almost all the time portion sizes are big for the stomach of bariatric patients. You don’t want to force anything on your stomach and then deal with discomfort and guilt.

3- You will need a to-go box. Don’t hesitate to ask for one as it’s better either not to throw the rest of your food or try eating it while you’re satiated.

4- Avoid alcohol after surgery. You can still have alcohol after weight loss surgery, but not as much as you could before.

5- Ask for the accurate size of the food portion and if it’s too much, order half a portion.

6- Avoid soups. Most people think soups are healthy but the fact is because they are low in protein and high in fat, soups are not good choices for bariatric surgery patients.

7- Order veggies as your side.

8- If you need drinks, avoid sweet beverages. Instead, you can drink water or unsweet tea.

9- You are allowed to eat out, but try to limit it to once or twice a week.

10- Avoid these: fried, butter, butter sauce, alfredo sauce, etc …)

11- Avoid dressings, especially creamy sauces. You can have tomato-based sauces and even that, ask it on the side, not covering your entire meal.

Can I have World Cuisines After Bariatric Surgery?

We all have our most favorite types of food that even thinking about not eating anymore makes life less joyful. Nobody said you should avoid Chinese food or the delectable Italian cuisine. So, I’ve prepared a guideline on eating different types of food including Chinese, Italian, Mexican, American, Japanese, and fast food. Hope you find it helpful.

1- Italian Food

Appetizer Menu Entrees Sides What to Avoid
Grilled calamari Whole wheat noodles Grilled or steamed vegetables Garlic bread
Steamed mussels Grilled fish Lemon juice Alfredo sauce
Minestrone soup Marina sauce Marina Regular Italian dressings

Remember:

– Avoid pizza and pasta as much as you can. If you want to order pizza, it should be a thing crust and with only veggies and lean meat like chicken.

– Your meal should mostly contain protein with almost no fat like grilled chicken.

– If you want pasta so bad, just order another full-protein meal and then after a bite of it after your main food.

– If you’re looking for healthy choices, it is better to avoid creamy sauce and order tomato-based sauces instead.

2- Mexican Food

Entrees Sides What to Avoid What You Can Eat
Fajitas Black or pinto beans Chips Ceviche, chicken tortilla soup, seafood soup
Pico de gallo queso Taco salad (minus the shell), churrasco, black beans, salsa, burrito bowls without the rice
our cream Pescado veracruzano, siete mares
margaritas

Remember:

– Because of the chips, rice, and tortillas, try to avoid Mexican food as much as you can.

– If you’re eating out at Mexican restaurants, try fajitas and all the vegetables.

– Ask the waiter to not bring chips because they don’t help to keep you satiated.

3- Chinese Food

Appetizer Foods Entrees What to Avoid
Egg drop Steamed entrees Fried egg rolls
Wonton soup Sauce on the side Lo mein
Hot and sour soup Chicken or shrimp Sweet and sour meals
Mixed vegetables with tofu Steamed vegetables Rice

4- American Food

Appetizers Entrees Sides What to Avoid
Broth-based soups Grilled, steamed, broiled, or baked lean protein (like chicken) Steamed vegetables Bread baskets
Side salads (if you want dressings, choose low-fat sauce) baked potato with no toppings Fried dishes
Most appetizers

5- Japanese Food

Appetizers Entrees Sides What to Avoid
Miso soup Sashimi Wasabi Tempura
Cucumber salad Nigiri Low-sodium soy sauce Dynamite
Rolls with mayo

Be Alert for These on the Menu!

If you see any of these words on the menu, just skip to the next option:

  • Cheese sauce
  • Butter-wine sauce
  • Fried
  • Baked or cooked in butter
  • Cream sauce
  • Fried with cheese
  • Deep-fried

This means you MUST avoid:

Alfredo, escalloped, parmigiana, sautéed, Tempura, Hollandaise, and béarnaise.