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The Struggle of Eating Out After Bariatric Surgery

The Struggle of Eating Out After Bariatric Surgery

My Experience

My first restaurant outing was 2 months post-surgery; and I was nervous. We went to a new place I had never been to and the menu did not have many options. I was still in the soft foods stage, and prioritizing protein.

I ended up asking for a chicken soup and the smoked salmon dip for the table, which we shared with a couple of our friends. After a few tiny sips of soup, I went for the salmon dip thinking “protein.” That was a mistake since I did not take into consideration the amount of fat in the dip. Within minutes I was flushed, sweaty, and my heartbeat raced within my chest. My friends didn’t notice, but I had to excuse myself to the restroom to splash fresh water on my face. This was one of my first dumping episodes- and they’re awful.

More on dumping syndrome here: http://thewlsblog.com/2018/05/24/what-is-dumping-syndrome-after-bariatric-surgery-and-who-can-be-affected/ 

Tips for Eating Out

  • Watch out for fatty foods- Fats slide too fast into the small intestine and can trigger dumping syndrome
  • Sugar is NOT your friend- My nutritionist recommended foods containing less than 20 mg of sugar and that seemed to keep my dumping at bay
  • Carbohydrates turn to sugar- Be mindful of high carb meals
  • Skip the appetizers- Most appetizers are fried or drenched in sauces, with very low nutrition points
  • Share a meal- Up to almost 2 years post-surgery, I shared my meals with others. It saves money and empty calories
  • Don’t drink water 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after your meal- Water pushes the food out from our stomach before we can have time to properly digest our meal
  • Protein first! - Choose lean protein and avoid fried or battered options
  • Pack a protein shake or bar in case you can’t have anything from the menu

Do you have other tips to share? 



IG: @ana_vsg_miami



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