After any weight loss surgery, like the Gastric Sleeve or RNY Bypass, eating out can be frustrating for a few reasons. You order your favorite meal and eat a very small portion of it, but still pay the same amount, regardless. Or you eat too much because it’s in front of you, and feel miserable afterward. Here are some options and alternatives for eating out after weight loss surgery.

ObesityHelp has provided a Special Menu Request card for weight loss surgery patients, to be able to order smaller portions or to select from the kid’s/senior menu at many restaurants. Unfortunately, the cards are not accepted at ALL restaurants.

Print out this RestaurantCard and carry it with you. 

If you are hesitant to ask for a special menu and embarrassed to show your card, or you just don’t prefer the selections from the kid’s menu, there are a few other options for dining out, to make your stomach (and wallet) happy:

  1. Order your favorite meal and ask your server to box half right away, only bringing you half to the table. Leftovers can make a great lunch the next day.
  2. Just order soup or an appetizer and skip the big meal, since you can’t eat it all anyway.
  3. Split a meal. Most restaurants will provide a 2nd plate for free or minimal cost, but always ask first so the extra charge is not a surprise on your bill.
  4. Look for restaurants that have the small bites menu (Tapas). They are a mini version of their regular menu, just in smaller portions.

We are all tempted to overindulge when we go out to eat and use excuses like, “we work hard”, “I deserve it”, “it’s the weekend”, etc. Don’t let yourself have too many setbacks where it becomes harder to regain control. Keep your focus on your weight loss journey. Dining out after weight loss surgery can still be an affordable and enjoyable experience.

You’ve come this far…keep up the great work!