The Bariatric Surgery Dining Guide*
When eating out, stay focused on weight loss with the help of these tips
Whether for a business lunch, a friend’s birthday or a celebratory night on the town, eating out is something most of us enjoy. Unfortunately, the dining experience can become a bit more complicated after bariatric surgery. Now that your stomach capacity is reduced and you’re focused on living healthier, the huge portion sizes of the typical restaurant are out of the question—so how can you eat out without breaking your diet or going hungry?
You don’t have to live in fear of the many great restaurants in Naples and Ft. Myers. With a little help, your weight loss program can go ahead as planned even when faced with the tempting fare of your favorite eatery. To keep your next breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner carefree, start planning to eat healthy with these tips:
Always ask questions.
Too many people shy away from asking questions of their servers, afraid to come across as a nuisance. However, your server is there to help you have the best possible dining experience—answering your questions your server’s job, while he or she may also be able to direct you to healthy items or options unlisted by the menu. If you explain your needs to the server, he or she will most likely be eager to help.
No menu has to be a total surprise—these days, most restaurants give you access to their menus online, helping you find a healthy option before you even walk through the doors. This can take some of the stress out of figuring out your order at the table. If no entrees appear to fit your diet, take a look at sides, salads, soups and health appetizers that you may be able to combine into a full-fledged meal. Many restaurants have menus directly available on their websites, but you may also be able to find menus (as well as ratings and healthy meal advice) on sites like yelp.com.
Find portion perfection.
Portion sizes are out of control at most American restaurants, and this issue becomes even more important after weight loss surgery. Because you now have less room to store and digest a large meal, going overboard can be detrimental in more ways than just loading you up with extra calories and fat. Follow your bariatric surgeon’s portion recommendations and take home the remainder of your meal if needed. You can also ask your server about splitting a full-size entrée with a friend—some restaurants are even beginning to offer discounts for reduced portions if you present a WLS Restaurant Card.
Eating out is a consistent source of anxiety after weight loss surgery, but it does not have to be for you. To make every dining experience enjoyable and relaxed as you lose weight, help yourself stay focused on progress with the tips above.
What are some of the best places to grab a healthy meal in Naples or Ft. Myers? Help others lose weight by sharing your favorite bariatric-friendly restaurants!
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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.