Dining Out after Bariatric Surgery
You’ll have complete control over what you eat at home, but finding a LAP-BAND-friendly meal at a restaurant can seem more difficult. When you do find yourself going out to eat after LAP-BAND surgery, don’t worry—you can find something to eat at nearly any restaurant that will meet the guidelines of your post-LAP-BAND diet.
When you go out to eat after LAP-BAND surgery, remember to pay attention to:
What You Eat
For some people, eating out is an excuse to indulge in foods they would otherwise avoid, but you’ll need to continue to make careful choices about the kinds of foods you eat. Do your best to avoid things like:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta
- Fatty meats
- Dairy products
Order a lean protein source like chicken or fish with a side of vegetables, and make sure that nothing has been fried or cooked in oil or butter. If you don’t see anything on the menu that meets your needs, ask your server—most restaurants will be willing to accommodate you. These are good choices for your family as well.
How You Eat
Just like at home, remember to eat foods in order of their importance:
- Protein always comes first.
- Non-starchy vegetables come second.
- Starchy vegetables and fruits come third.
- Flour-based, high-starch foods have the lowest priority.
These rules hold true regardless of where you’re eating, as do others like:
- Chew every bite thoroughly.
- Eat slowly and put your utensils down between bites.
- Avoid drinking for at least 30 minutes before and after you eat. Even if you only order water, it will take up space in your pouch needed for food.
How Much You Eat
Most restaurant portions are too big for a single person, and much too big for someone with a LAP-BAND. Measure out portions when your food arrives and ask for a to-go box immediately—this way, you can get the excess food off your plate quickly and remove the temptation to overeat. Listen to what your body is telling you and stop eating at the first feelings of fullness.
It’s possible to find something healthy to eat at just about any restaurant. When you go out to eat after LAP-BAND surgery, keep tips like these in mind, and don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about what to eat.