Eating in Restaurants After Weight Loss Surgery
Dining out with friends or family can be a relaxing and heart-felt experience, but a weight loss surgery can change the dynamics of the experience. Although it is not necessary to avoid restaurants after weight loss surgery, your long-term success will rely on developing skills to handle social eating situations such as restaurants.
Plan in Advance
Individuals who have gone through any weight loss surgery should plan in advance before going to a restaurant. Look at the online menu and decide on food items before entering the restaurant so that it is not necessary to wait for a long period of time before ordering a meal.
By planning in advance, it is easier to limit the carbohydrates and focus on meals that include lean proteins and low-starch vegetables. Avoid meals with potatoes, large amounts of carbohydrates or other starchy vegetables. The Obesity Action Coalition suggests that protein based meals can reduce hunger for a long period of time and that it is particularly important to focus on protein-based meals within the first months of eating solid foods. Remember, half your plate non-starchy vegetables, one quarter protein and the remaining quarter starchy vegetables and whole grain. Also consider the 3-2-1 rule of eating. 3 bites of protein, 2 bites of vegetables and one bite of starch. This will ensure you are filling up on the most important part of your meal.
Eat Normally before You Go Out
It is important to continue eating according to your schedule small meals and snacks throughout the day before going to a restaurant. Although it may be exciting to eat out with loved ones, it is not healthy to eat in excess, particularly if the body is still healing after weight loss surgery. Don’t starve yourself during the day so you can eat more at the restaurant. Most likely all you will achieve is nausea and vomiting.
Avoid Fried Foods
Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly high in trans fats, which are not healthy for the body or the heart. Stick to foods that are steamed, baked, broiled or grilled because they have a lower fat content. Meals that are high in fat or sugar can cause discomfort after some weight loss surgery, so it is best to opt for meals that are low in these nutrients.
Be Mindful of Portion Sizes
Before eating, separate the meal into proper portion sizes. Another option is sharing a meal with a friend or family member to reduce the size of the portion. Mindful eating practices, like eating smaller portions and chewing every bite thoroughly, will prevent overeating.
Even though your dietary plans may change after a weight loss surgery, it is still possible to enjoy dining out with friends or family. Eating small portion sizes and planning in advance can ensure that the meal does not deviate from the recommendations of your surgeon and nutritionist.