Let’s be honest, on this journey, there will be peaks and valleys. Success is the ability to be practical during those valleys. You will have periods where your eating will be great, you’ll make nutritious meals at home, and you’ll pack everything separately in cute portion control containers each color coated to identify its contents. And then, you’ll have the one day where you forget your lunch on the counter or didn’t have time for a proper breakfast and now the only option is to dine out. Situations like these don’t need to be a challenge, you simply need to know what to look for. These simple tips can help you make better choices when eating out after weight loss surgery.
When eating out consider this:
- If you have many food options around, plan ahead by looking at menus online. This alone empowers you to make better choices, eliminating the temptations.
- Don’t drink your calories! Stay away from juices, sodas, sports drinks and run from “signature” drinks, they’re usually loaded with sugar.
- Make balanced choices. Choose dishes with a protein, fiber, and a healthy fat this will keep you satisfied.
- Sharing is definitely caring. Whenever possible share a dish, not only will this save you money but it will prevent portion distortion.
- Ask for a to-go box when the food comes. Packing away half or more or the dish for later is another great way to fight portion distortion. It’s important to have strong boundaries regarding the portions you eat.
- Close mouths don’t get fed. The saying is true on so many levels. Speak up, talk to your servers or hostess and ask about off-menu items. Contrary to popular belief, some restaurants allow post-operative adults to order half size dishes or from the kids' menu.
- Avoid fried foods, this may be a given but always ask for veggies on the side or a side salad.
- Be cautious of sauces. As a rule of thumb, most sauces are packed with sugar and or sodium, causing serious bloat and discomfort. Ask for dressings to be bought on the side for salads, this way you can taste it and control the amount. When in doubt, go for oil and vinegar.
It's important to be practical during these moments. You can still lead a healthy lifestyle and enjoy eating out after weight loss surgery. Making simple adjustments can help ease any anxieties about eating out. I can't stress this enough be gentle, you are not perfect but you can always be improving. Remember your boundaries when eating out, and make it a habit to prepare and pack your meals in advance. Do you have any tips for eating out? Share them in the comments.