After bariatric surgery, sticking to your diet goals doesn’t mean you always have to cook at home.
However, there are many questions that come with ordering from a restaurant, including what to order, what to avoid, and how to make smart substitutes to ensure your meal is bariatric-friendly.
Here are five tips to make restaurant delivery and takeout easier after bariatric surgery.
Find a restaurant with options
After bariatric surgery, there are some foods and drinks are likely to cause adverse reactions and should be avoided throughout the post-op period. Carbonated beverages, sugar-sweetened beverages, caffeine, gum, and spicy foods often are not well tolerated.
However, there is a lot you can eat, too.
Choose a restaurant that you know has a variety of nutritious and bariatric-friendly options, such as grilled meats, whole grains, and plant-based dishes.
Make a game plan
Take a look at the menu in advance. By reviewing your options ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to choose a meal that aligns with your goals when you go to place your order.
When choosing what to order, start with protein, which is an important piece of every meal.
Pick items that are roasted, steamed, grilled or baked, and avoid those that are fried, sautéed, battered or braised.
If you are newly post-op, look for foods you’ve already added back into your diet. That way, you’ll avoid any foods you don’t tolerate well.
Add some veggies
After you choose your protein, add some vegetables to your dish.
Substitute a salad, mixed vegetables or a veggie-heavy chili or soup instead of French fries, chips or pasta.
Split your meal
Restaurant portions are large – sometimes up to three times the recommended serving size!
To help control your intake, ask if the restaurant offers half-sized portions and order that instead. Or, pack half away before you start eating and enjoy the rest as leftovers another day.
Savor your selection
Pay attention to each bite and how it makes you feel, savor your meal, notice when your body is full and enjoy!