One of the diet-related challenges that our bariatric surgery patients commonly face is how to eat healthfully at restaurants. While many restaurant dishes are packed with fat, salt, calories and carbohydrates, it is entirely possible to find healthy menu choices.Here, the Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team has curated a list of tips for eating in restaurants. If you have had weight loss surgery and found any other tips to be helpful, please add them to the comments on this post!

Look for Dishes Described with These Keywords

There’s a high chance that dishes that are roasted, baked, broiled, poached, seared, grilled or steamed won’t derail your healthy diet plan. A dish of roasted vegetables with a piece of poached, broiled or baked fish would be ideal.

Avoid Dishes Marked by These Keywords

If a dish is described as crunchy, battered, crispy, crusted or sizzling, the food is likely fried. Anything that comes loaded, creamy, cheesy, gooey, rich or velvety is high in calories. Think: “loaded” baked potato that comes with bacon, bleu cheese crumbles and sour cream.

Be Careful with Sauces and Dressings

Sauces (e.g., teriyaki, BBQ, honey mustard) and dressings are often sneaky sources of sugar. If you’re eyeing a particular salad or dish that comes with a sauce or vinaigrette, ask your server about the ingredients, and avoid anything that is high in sugar.

Remember Portion Control

Even if you’re ordering a dish or entrée that seems healthy, keep portion control in mind. You don’t need 26 ounces of grilled steak! If the portion size isn’t offered on the menu, inquire about it with your server. Remember that a proper portion size for a piece of meat or fish is about the size of a deck of cards, or your palm.

Portion control is extremely important after weight loss surgery, because the stomach’s capacity is dramatically reduced. Overeating (even healthy foods) can cause regurgitation and other uncomfortable side effects, not to mention, compromise the desired weight loss results.

Check Out Our Restaurant Nutrition Resources

Our website has a section devoted to nutritional information for popular restaurants in our area. Visit that page to learn more about the calories, fat and sugar content of your favorite menu items.

Want More Information?

For more tips and tricks to eating right after weight loss surgery, please contact TLC Surgery by calling (713) 535-9903 or via email today.