How to dine out after weight loss surgery

How To Dine Out After Weight Loss Surgery


Statistics show that Americans eat 2/3 of meals away from home, and research indicates this can lead to weight gain. When you can’t avoid eating out, make sure your order fits in your meal plan.  Focus on lean protein and veggies, without sauces or dressings. Squeeze in extra exercise on the days you eat out.


The trick to successfully eating out is to read between the lines. Words like steamed, broiled, roasted, and garden fresh often indicate healthier options. Restaurants want your business so don’t hesitate to make special requests such as: “Could I have the dressing on the side?”, “Will you bring a to‐ go box with my meal?”, or “Could you please not bring bread or chips to our table?”


Before heading to the restaurant, review the menu and nutrition online. Write down the healthier options, and keep them with you or in your car at all times. Be sure to pay attention to the serving size or prep techniques. Most side dishes, drinks or appetizers aren’t usually included in the total calorie count. Planning in advance prepares you to make the best decision possible – or just stay in.


Avoid descriptions that indicate higher‐fat choices:

  • Alfredo or Au gratin – cheese sauce
  • Béarnaise – a butter‐wine sauce
  • En Croute or Crusty – made with crust, possible fried
  • Escalloped – baked in butter, milk and cheese
  • Hollandaise – high‐fat cream sauce
  • Parmigiana – fried and with cheese
  • Tempura or deep fried – boiled in fat
  • Sautéed – cooked in butter or oil
  • Crispy or breaded – fried


Here are some helpful tips when ordering out…


  • Appetizers: Side salad with low fat dressing, broth‐based soups
  • Entrees: Grilled, steamed, broiled, or baked chicken, fish or lean steak
  • Sides: Steamed veggies, small baked potato (no toppings)
  • Avoid: bread basket, fried foods, ‘value meals’, most appetizers


  • Appetizers: Miso soup, edamame, cucumber salad
  • Entrees: Sashimi, Nigiri
  • Sides: Wasabi, ginger, low sodium soy sauce
  • Avoid: Tempura, Dynamite, (baked in mayo) Rolls with mayo or cream cheese


  • Appetizers: Egg drop, wonton soup
  • Entrees: Steamed, sauce on the side
  • Avoid: Fried egg rolls, sweet and sour dishes, lo mein, rice


  • Appetizers: Minestrone soup, steamed mussels/clams, grilled calamari
  • Entrees: Grilled fish, marinara sauce, whole wheat noodles
  • Sides: Steamed/grilled veggies, lemon juice or marinara for dipping
  • Avoid: Garlic bread, alfredo sauce, regular Italian dressing


  • Entrees: Fajitas (corn tortillas are lower in calories than flour)
  • Sides: Black or pinto beans, pico de gallo
  • Avoid: Chips, queso, sour cream, guacamole fried entrees, margaritas



Author Info

Tom Umbach

Tom Umbach

Bariatrics is Dr. Umbach’s Passion! His practice is 100% devoted to helping Las Vegas gastric sleeve and gastric bypass clients achieve healthier lifestyles. It brings him great pleasure to see clients shed their excess weight and enjoy the simple pleasures of life – playing with their children or grandchildren, riding a roller coaster for the first time, or starting to date and travel.

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