Tips For Eating Out After WLS

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There comes a time in every post bariatric person’s life when they will eat out at a restaurant, fast food joint or bring home some type of take out meal. Depending upon the type of restaurant and food being served there are lots of things you can do to make this work without running into problems like dumping, RH episodes or just plain old overeating. Over the past 11 years I’ve tried lots of things and this is what I’ve found works for me.

  • Those cards saying you’ve had WLS surgery and should be able to choose a meal from the kids menu…..don’t do it! While the thought of being able to get a smaller meal at a lower price is nice take a good look at what is usually found on the kids menu. Let’s face it….it’s junk. Hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese. While we might enjoy these items once in a while why limit yourself to eating them just because it’s a smaller size. Don’t flash a card announcing your surgery. Pass on the kids meals and head straight to the main menu.
  • Appetizers, a bowl of soup or chili can be a complete meal. It’s alright to order one and nothing else. If no other apps are being ordered simply tell the wait staff to bring it with the other meals. They will ask if you’d like an entree meal. My response…..no thanks. I ate a little earlier and I’m not that hungry. Easy enough and there’s no other questions asked.
  • Speaking of appetizers pass on any of those free nibbles that they might offer before the meal arrives. These usually include items such as bread, popcorn or tortillas with salsa. They will just take up space and tend to be higher in carbs (think dumping episode) so they add calories without adding the nutrients you need like protein.
  • Choose something you will enjoy eating more than once because you will have leftovers. While everyone else will most likely finish their meal you get to enjoy yours two or even three times. Yay!  Enjoy your meal with family or friends and then bring the extra home to enjoy again at lunch the next day.
  • Pass on any item that has caused an issue in the past. I love scrambled eggs but they don’t work for me. After a few bites gut death (aka stomach pains) kick in and I’m miserable. Omelets will sometimes work but I won’t know until it’s too late. Trying to eat either one at a restaurant, no matter how good they look or sound, is an invitation to disaster. If a particular food doesn’t work well for you don’t attempt to try it here.
  • Check out the menu online. Knowing what they offer and deciding on what to get before you arrive will help you make better choices.
  • Choose meals that feature protein and pass on the high carb meals featuring mainly pasta or rice. You can also ask your server if you can swap out something like mashed potatoes for a different vegetable or even a bit of salad.

Got a great tip for eating out? Why not share it below in the comment section. Don’t be shy if you haven’t had WLS surgery. These tips can help most people make healthier choices when eating out.

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