For most of us, eating out is a major part of our social and work lives. This doesn’t change when we undergo weight loss surgery. However, having bariatric surgery, such as a gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve procedure, may slightly change your experience of eating out. You now need to consider what is best for your stomach as it heals, and keep in mind any directions given by your doctor and dietitian. By no means does this exclude you from enjoying delicious food and a fun night out. Just keep the following things in mind as you head to the restaurant…
Before booking a table, check the restaurant’s online menu to make sure that they have meals that suit your needs. Try to go to places with nutritious meals that aren’t too rich, with options that include lean proteins (chicken or fish), with sides of vegetables and salads. Often Mediterranean restaurants are really good for this kind of cuisine. Check out this Urban List article for inspiration.
As your surgeon would have explained, your bariatric surgery has effectively made your stomach smaller, and therefore able to hold less food. Consequently, it is essential that you stick to smaller portion sizes to not cause any complications to the weight loss surgery. We recommend ordering an entrée size meal or splitting a meal with someone. Alternatively, grazing or sharing plates can be a great option as you can just eat as much as you feel like, and others can have the rest. Tapas restaurants are ideal for eating smaller portions. Check out this article on the best tapas in Perth.
If you go to a restaurant that is perhaps a little trickier to find suitable foods and portions on the menu, it can be helpful to show the staff your Weight Loss Surgery card, also known as your bariatric card. Perhaps talk to the staff privately before you sit down, or let the waiter know as you begin browsing the menu as you would with a food allergy. This can be a convenient way to explain your situation, without having to go into details. The waiter can then suggest which options on the menu may be the best choice for your meal.
Sugary drinks such as alcohol, soft drink, or iced tea are high in empty calories. Try to just go with water when you are eating out after your weight loss surgery, and focus on enjoying the delicious, healthy food. When everyone else is suffering from drinking too many glasses of wine, you will be feeling great and ready to make the most of the day.
As soon as you start to feel full, stop eating straight away. Your body will tell you how much food is safe for you to eat after your bariatric surgery and send signals to your brain that it’s time to put down the knife and fork. Listen to your body, and be sensible. If your stomach gets too full, it can cause discomfort due to complications such as dumping syndrome or vomiting.
The thought of eating out after your weight loss surgery may bring up some anxiety. If you don’t feel ready to eat out just yet, have no fear. There are countless specialty bariatric surgery recipes available online to try so that you can enjoy delicious meals at home.
Your bariatric surgeon will advise you in regards to your diet, and you must follow their instructions. For example, if you were advised to stick to soft or pureed foods for a period of time after your surgery, it is vital to follow this direction.
If you have any concerns regarding your weight loss surgery or would like more information regarding eating out after bariatric surgery, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Siva Gounder and his team on 08 6155 8822.
Mr. Siva Gounder is the director and head of Perth Weight Loss & Surgery. With more than 15 years surgical experience, Mr. Gounder is fully trained and qualified to provide bariatric surgery in Perth that helps treat obesity. This includes gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, sips surgery, duodenal switch operation and revisional surgery.