Bariatric surgery patients will have to make changes to lifestyle and eating habits. The idea of dining at restaurants after surgery can be intimidating.
You can still enjoy social dining at your favorite restaurants. In this article, we offer some tips for dining out and how to choose the right restaurants. We help you navigate the experience of eating out after bariatric surgery.
Read about the best bariatric-friendly restaurants below.
Bariatric Restaurants (Our Review)
How to Choose a Bariatric-Friendly Restaurant?
Bariatric-friendly restaurants will have menu options that help bariatric patients maintain their balanced and healthy diets.
Whether you have had bariatric surgery or not, going out to eat should be more of a treat or for an occasion.
The best lifestyle habits come from learning moderation and portion control when making your own meals and having a complete understanding of what is going into those meals. It's easier to make your own meals with selected
portions than to see the large meal sitting in front of you and finding the disciple to ask for a doggy bag. Keep this in mind when you are asked to go out to eat.
Meal plans for bariatric patients should be nutritious and low in calories. High protein foods for gastric sleeve patients are recommended.
Bariatric patients need to choose a restaurant that suits their diet. Here are some things to remember when eating out after bariatric surgery:
- Look for healthy options
- Check for an online menu to prepare ahead of time
- Substitute vegetables as a side
- Share a meal
- Eat mindfully
Consider some of the options below, as they are known to cater to the bariatric population.
CoreLife is different than your normal sit down restaurant. The food is fresh and locally sourced. They choose organic and non-GMO sources.
Calories are listed on all of the menu options. Suggested lower calorie sides are offered on their menu to help you with your decision when ordering.
The menu includes bowls with different bases. The bases would include salad, grains, or broth. Some form of protein can be found in every option, such as tofu, chicken, tuna, steak, or pork. There are also vegan and gluten-free options.
All menu items are available for viewing online with a nutritional panel visible when clicking on the entrée. If you would like a portion controlled meal of your choosing, you can opt for the build your own bowl selection.
- All nutrition information provided
- Build your own healthy bowl
- Protein-rich options
- Lower calorie pairing suggestions
- Unknown if weight loss cards are accepted
- Free bread slice typically given with each bowl
Olive Garden is a popular household name for casual and versatile dining with pasta, salads, seafood, and many other options.
Olive Garden allows for bariatric patients to order from the children's menu or you may request a smaller portion of a dinner entrée if you show your weight loss surgery card.
Unfortunately, Olive Garden’s famous unlimited breadsticks and salads should be avoided. Do not fill your stomach with these options before you reach your protein-rich entrée. Avoid anything that is all you can eat. This includes all you can eat salad.
Avoid pasta entrées. Limit yourself to a small side of pasta or something smaller off the children's menu with protein in it.
The best entrées are likely going to be the options listed under 500 calories, such as the Grilled Chicken Spiedini. This option is essentially marinated chicken with vegetables cooked in olive oil.
Mussels and grilled salmon are also going to be a healthier option in the seafood category.
- Versatile menu options
- Accepts WLS cards
- Dishes under 500 calories are offered and clearly listed
- Unlimited breadsticks and salads
- Many high-carbohydrate meal options
- "Never ending" meal selections
Ruby Tuesday offers a menu section called petite plates. They are slightly discounted and offer smaller portions of large entrée selections.
Some good high protein plates may include chicken, salmon, or shrimp. Focus on the protein portion of these plates first and then move your way around the plate to the low-starch vegetables and whole grains.
Calorie information is offered on the petite plate items.
- Accept weight loss surgery cards
- Discounted petite plate options
- Limited nutritional panel offered. Only the calories are listed.
- Small selection of petite plates
Eating out after gastric sleeve or other bariatric surgeries does not mean that you have to avoid going out to eat with friends and family.
The idea is to understand portion control and moderation when going out to eat. Utilize the healthier menu options and share meals.
Avoid the fried options. Select grilled instead. At Chick-fil-A, you can create your own bariatric soup by ordering the chicken soup without noodles and extra broth.
If choosing a salad, consider substituting the high-calorie dressing for a healthier option.
Avoid adding a sauce or dip to your meal choice. Chic-Fil-A sauce may be tasty, but it contains 140 calories and high fat for one little container.
Some yummy breakfast options include the egg-white grill, fresh fruit cup, or Greek yogurt parfait.
- Fast food is convenient
- Breakfast options
- Substitute and customize meals
- All nutrition information is listed online
- Fried options, high in fat and calories
- High calorie dips and sauces are offered with every meal
- Fast food typically offers less nutritious options
- Not many vegetarian or vegan choices
Other Restaurants With Bariatric-Friendly Options
- Panera Bread
- Outback Steak House
- Texas Road House
- Applebee’s accepts weight loss surgery cards
You can find more information on eating out after bariatric surgery on our blog:
Look For Healthy Options
Look for words like “fat-free”, “sugar-free”, “lite”, and “heart-healthy."
Avoid dishes that are breaded, deep-fried, or cooked in fats and oils.
Choose grilled and baked lean meats over fried and smothered in fats.
Be Mindful While You Eat
Controlling your portion size will help you to limit your calorie intake and can help you to avoid overeating. Consider sharing meals, ordering smaller portions, take dressing on the side, avoid free starters and unlimited options.
Eat slowly and chew your food well to savor and enjoy every bite. Remember to not drink a beverage and eat at the same time. Allow 30 minutes before a meal to drink and 30 minutes after.
Consider Reading These Articles:
- Life After Weight Loss Surgery
- Drinking Alcohol After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Bariatric Diet
- Taste Change After Weight Loss Surgery
- How Much Weight Do You Lose After Gastric Bypass
- Bariatric Surgery Benefits
- Bariatric Surgery Explained
- Keys to Success After Bariatric Surgery
- Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiency
- 6 Months After Gastric Sleeve
- Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery: 5 Tips
- Staying Motivated After Bariatric Surgery
**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.