Weight loss surgery can cause many changes. One, of course, is the significant decrease in portion size due to the smaller stomach size, which can be difficult when you’re not cooking and serving your own meals. Eating out is something that may cause a lot of anxiety in some patients, however, a few simple tricks can make it all the more easier.
- Pick a time that works for you
If you are able to pick the time and place that you feel most comfortable with, definitely ask. It might be easier to have breakfast out with a few friends than it is to eat lunch or dinner. Usually, cafes can be more accommodating with changes to meals too. For example, having one egg with a small side of vegetables can be easier to ask for than being served a whole steak with sides for dinner.
- Do your research
If someone else has picked the place, scoping out some information ahead of time can help ease anxiety. Checking the menu online beforehand is a great plan, or calling the restaurant ahead of time to see what they will be serving.
- Go in with a game plan
If you know the menu ahead of time, plan what you will eat before you go. Always eat intuitively; don’t try and finish the plate if you’re full. Restaurants are notorious for big portion sizes! Picking a side such as vegetables instead of a main is a great idea too. If it is an event with small appetizers instead of a meal, eat dinner before you go, so that calculating portion sizes and picking the right foods doesn’t even have to cross your mind!
- “Why aren’t you eating?”
Something that might become a normal question when you’re out and about is why you’re not eating your whole meal, or why you only ordered something small. You should always feel proud of your journey, but if, at the time, you don’t feel comfortable telling someone, it might be easier to have a few quick easy answers ready:
“I had a late lunch this afternoon so I’m not hungry”, “I wasn’t sure what there was to eat so I ate dinner with the kids beforehand”, “I’ve been feeling a bit sick lately so I’m just letting my tummy settle” are a few to choose from.
- You’re not alone!
Not only are there thousands of people who have had weight loss surgery, there are so many others who experience food allergies, intolerances, have smaller appetites, or just don’t like eating out! They also ask for changes to the menu or eat only a smaller serving size. Don’t feel obliged to do what others say. Stick to YOUR goals and your journey, and eating out anxiety will become a thing of the past.