Navigating Restaurants After Your Bariatric Surgery

Helping you accomplish your weight-loss goals is our mission here at Southern Nevada Bariatrics in Las Vegas. Led by bariatric surgeon, Mustafa Ahmed, MD, our entire team works hard to support you in reaching and maintaining your ideal weight.

Dr. Ahmed uses his considerable medical expertise to design personalized weight-loss programs that work fast enough to keep you motivated as you incorporate long-term healthy habits into your daily routine.

For many, bariatric surgery is a powerful ally in the journey to lose excess weight. But must you give up your favorite restaurant to achieve success after surgery? Absolutely not. 

Our team shares five practical tips for eating out after weight-loss surgery.

1. Save the date

Certain dietary restrictions, which are not ideally amenable to eating out, are necessary for several weeks or months following weight-loss surgery.

For example, your liquid menu during the initial healing phase is carefully crafted to supply the nutrition your body requires as you adjust to the many positive benefits of bariatric surgery. Dr. Ahmed discusses this in detail with you before scheduling the procedure and continues to provide supportive care during all phases of your weight-loss journey.

Remember that these restrictions won’t last forever. Count ahead to when you’ll be in the final stabilization phase of your eating plan and eating regular food. Then mark the date of your planned return to the restaurant scene on your calendar and consider it a celebratory reward for all your hard work.

2. Plan ahead

There’s much to be said about gathering spontaneously with friends and family for a delicious meal in your favorite bistro. It pays, however, to take a few moments before you go to check their menu online and compare their offerings to your customized meal plan.

Most restaurants these days offer information regarding the nutritional status of their featured meals. Planning your order in advance helps you stick with your overall goal.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for special service

It’s important to consider the nutritional value as well as portion sizes when dining out after bariatric surgery. Meals that contain adequate protein and not-too-much fat are important.

Restaurant food is often loaded with salt, which will make you thirsty. Since you drink your fluids between meals, not with them, ask for your food to be made without salt. However, if you linger at the restaurant chatting with your dining companions, you may want to order or bring along a liquid to drink if enough time passes since you ate.

Because portion sizes at restaurants are typically more than you can eat, request a doggie bag to take some home or get an extra plate and share your abundance with a dining companion. 

If nothing on the menu seems right, ask about creating your own dish. Many restaurants are willing to accommodate individual dietary needs. Phone ahead to be sure.

4. Order first and don’t taste test

It’s easier to resist the temptation of indulging in heavily sauced or fried foods if you order before other members of your group have a chance to describe their calorie-laden selections to your server. 

Should your companion offer, you may want to decline even a bite of their tasty-looking entree or dessert that’s full of calories but low in nutrients. A nibble may reignite cravings you are just beginning to overcome.

5. Reach out

We always invite patients to take advantage of the many supportive services we offer here at Southern Nevada Bariatrics. Our team approach to weight loss includes ongoing dietary and nutritional counseling and other common-sense guidelines for incorporating healthy habits into your next restaurant experience. 

We’re also happy to give you more advice about dining out while sticking to your postsurgical nutrition plan.

For more information regarding our medical weight-loss plans, which may include bariatric surgery, schedule a visit with Dr. Ahmed today.

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