Social eating after weight loss surgery can be overwhelming. Food is a huge part of life and that doesn’t change just because you undergo weight loss surgery. Enjoying food is an integral part of our culture. Here are our top tips for social eating after weight loss surgery.
Eating After Bariatric Surgery
After bariatric surgery, you must make significant lifestyle changes. Most of these revolve around eating habits. Since the size of your stomach changes, you must eat considerably smaller portions and some foods are harder to digest. This means dining out can be more challenging as well.
We tend to eat more when we are surrounded by friends than we would normally eat alone. This is another challenge to eating out with friends and family after bariatric surgery. However, with a bit of preparation, you can still enjoy social eating after weight loss surgery.
How to Eat After Surgery
During the first three weeks after your surgery, you will only be able to consume liquid foods. Then you will be on soft foods for around 5 weeks. Over time, you will be able to eat and digest foods with different textures. Life after bariatric surgery doesn’t change as much as you might think. Soon, you can eat almost anything. However, there are some especially important rules to remember.
First, you must eat smaller portions. Your stomach size is drastically reduced, so your portion sizes much match that. Otherwise, you risk stretching the stomach and undoing the results of your surgery. Next, eat slowly. This allows you to really pay attention to the signals your stomach is sending. Stop eating when you feel full. Finally, chew your food thoroughly. This can help you savor your food and avoid any digestive issues.
Choosing Where to Eat
Its important to look at a restaurant’s menu and ensure that there are foods available that are suitable for you. Consider the portion sizes and whether the restaurant allows substitutions/customizations. You could easily order an appetizer as your meal or choose a full meal and take home your leftovers. Alternatively, you could ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal. Go ahead and divide the portion you want to eat onto to a separate plate and leave the rest in the box. This may help you avoid overeating.
You may want to avoid buffets since they can lead to overeating. If you do go to a buffet, make sure you look at everything being offered before you choose. You can only eat a little bit so make well informed decisions. Additionally, sitting farther away from the buffet table may help you avoid the temptation to consume more than you need.
What to Eat
After your weight loss surgery, it is crucial to eat a balanced diet. Each meal should contain proteins, dietary fiber, and essential fatty acids. Lean proteins like fish, eggs, grilled chicken, and tofu are great after surgery. Fresh salads and steamed vegetable make a great side dish. Remember to ask for dressing to be served separately so that you can control the amount of dressing. You can also choose a healthy dressing like salsa, vinegar, or mustard. Likewise, choose a tomato sauce instead of cream sauces.
Things to Avoid
Avoid breaded meat products and creamy sauces that are high in calories and carbohydrates. Typically, you should choose vegetables over starchy foods like chips, rice, wheat products, pasta, and potatoes. It’s also important to avoid drinking your calories. High calorie drinks like soda, juice, iced tea, or alcohol can quickly derail your meal.
Social Eating After Weight Loss Surgery
Eating and choosing the right foods should be your main focus after weight loss surgery but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy time out with friends and family. Plan ahead, make healthy choices, and enjoy your meal. To learn more about bariatric surgery, please contact Maryland Bariatrics.