After bariatric surgery such as the gastric sleeve, bypass or lapband, you won’t be able to eat the same amount for food as you used to and often certain types of food does go down as well as others (e.g. the food pictured). So eating out can sometimes be something you dread. But it doesn’t have to be like that, and you should still enjoy eating out. Here are 5 tips to make eating out easier.
- Get involved in choosing the restaurant / café
If you have any influence in the restaurant choice, check the menu in advance or choose places that serve healthy food that you can eat or smaller portions. This can make the event much more enjoyable especially if the place caters are flexible to your portion size or dietary requirements. If you are unsure, why not give them a call in advance and speak to them, they may be able to cater or serve you a entree size of a main or a kid size (even without being too obvious if you haven’t told others)
- Choose an entree or kids size meal if possible
There is usually not much point getting a regular size main meal unless you want to take most of it home or share. Not all places will allow you to get a kids meal but you can always ask or ask if a main meal can be made into an entrée size if not. If you’re trying to be discreet as you haven’t told everyone you’ve had the surgery, call up the venue in advance so it’s easier on the day. Note: Some surgeons may be willing to write a letter that you can take with you when eating out explaining your surgery and asking if the venue can allow you to have a kid size meal or make a main into a entrée serve so ask your surgeon about this.
- Make the right meal choices
Choose meals based on protein and vegetables rather than too much carbohydrates. Also avoid meals that are too oily, creamy or sugary as these can sometimes lead to dumping syndrome or make you feel unwell (other than higher in kilojoules / calories).
Sharing a meal is often a good way to eat out especially if the venue doesn’t allow you to order smaller meals. You are less likely to overeat or will feel less pressure to eat more than you’re small stomach can fit in. However if you can’t share, take the rest of the meal home to enjoy the next day (or 2).
Don’t focus too much on what others are thinking about how much you are eating. Eat your small portion slowly, chew your food well and focus on catching up with everyone that will allow you to enjoy the event more and place less attention on the food side of the event. The catch up is just as if not more than the eating so enjoy your day / night out
Social events that event eating out should be something you look forward to rather than dread or avoid. With a little planning and forethought you can attend and enjoy them too!