Eating Out after Bariatric Surgery
One of the most common questions we’re asked after about life after bariatric surgery is whether or patient can eat out at a restaurant. Eating out has its great benefits including relaxation, socialization and hopefully very good food – not to mention the convenience of not having to cook. However, when we think of eating out, we think of less healthy options than what we expect from cooking at home. Interestingly, this may not always be the case. There are times when we cook at home, feeling like we’re eating healthier, when in fact we’re not.
Before we continue with this blog post, it is worth mentioning that patients who follow a healthy diet often do eat better at home, simply because they can control their ingredients and portions. We’re simply illustrating the point that patients can go out to a restaurant for a meal once in a while, and with discipline, feel happy about what they’ve eaten.
For most bariatric patients, eating out is a fun once-in-a-while social activity and not a daily occurrence. Most patients are also very good about eating the right foods in the right quantities. The result is a very successful lunch or dinner outside of the house. Many of us also stumble when we leave home and eat out. That’s why it’s important to remember a few of the most important tips for eating out:
- Avoid eating out when you’re starving. If for some reason (and it is not recommended) a bariatric patient has missed a meal, don’t get caught up in overeating to compensate.
- When patients do eat out, consider it an indulgence. Eat foods you may not prepare at home, but eat them in smaller quantities. Order lunch portions or box half the dinner up before the meal even begins.
- Drink plenty of water about 45 minutes before leaving for the restaurant.
- Start with a healthy soup or salad to help fill you up earlier in the meal.
- As always, avoid heavily sugared or carbonated drinks at all times but especially during the meal.
The bottom line is that patients can eat healthily whether they eat at home or out on the town. Ultimately it rests on the patient’s focus and dedication to their diet as to how successful they will be when eating out. Remember, life is to be enjoyed and the same goes for post-bariatric patients. Just enjoy everything in moderation.
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