Tips for dining out after weight loss surgery

  • First and foremost, don’t feel pressured to eat like everyone else. Other diners may order larger portions or unhealthy meals—don’t let that deter you or make you feel bad for choosing to eat healthy.

  • Avoid foods that may be difficult to swallow, such as steak, bread and fibrous vegetables like asparagus. If you haven’t had a successful experience with a certain food at home, it might be best to avoid trying it for the first time at a restaurant.

  • Substitute side dishes. Instead of ordering the customary French fries or mashed potatoes with your meal, ask for a salad or steamed vegetables. Most restaurants offer these substitutions at no (or very little) additional cost.

  • Ask for all dressings or sauces to be served on the side.

  • Know how your food is prepared, and avoid foods that are fried. Instead, choose meals that are grilled, baked, broiled, roasted, steamed, stir-fried or poached. If the menu isn’t clear, ask your server how the dish is prepared before you order.

  • Order smaller portions. Because you can eat less and feel satisfied, you may find that an appetizer or a meal from the children’s menu is sufficient.

  • Ask for a to-go container at the beginning of your meal. If you do order a full-sized entree, it’s almost guaranteed to be more than you can (or should) eat in one sitting. Put half of the meal away for later so you won’t be tempted to clean your plate.

  • Look for “light” menu items that are prepared without extra butter or oil.

  • Only order an appetizer or dessert if you can share it with someone else.

  • Avoid soft desserts like pudding or ice cream. Remember that your pouch is not designed to restrict these types of foods.

  • If you want to order an adult beverage, try a glass of red wine as a lower-calorie alternative to heavy beers and mixed drinks.