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Navigating Eating Out



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HI all!

How do you navigate eating out? Life is busy I do well during the day but at night if I do not cook for the fam then its take out. I try and make good decisions. The other day we had Mexican food. I got a grilled chicken taco, added black Beans, light sour cream and some guac. Put some pico de gallo on it and only ate the insides and only half, saved the other half for lunch. If we get burgers, I will only eat the meat with mustard and the lettuce and Tomato. ect...

I was watching a video someone posted and it was saying that the #1 failure of WLS is chasing restriction, I do not eat till I am stuffed, but I do eat till I am satisified. If I get a craving I just grab a otter pop or 2. I am not sure if I am supposed to steer clear of all this? I am losing weight and its literally melting off, so I figured this is ok.

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This should be fine.

It sounds like you're aware of the portion that is appropriate for you right now and making reasonable choices like leaving behind the bread. The biggest issues with restaurant foods are probably portion size and hidden calories/fat/sugar in sauces. Since you know this is part of your lifestyle to get takeout, and not something you're looking to change, I would say stay aware of the choices you make, as it will be easier to push it the further out you get.

Beware of getting the fried chicken instead of grilled "just this one time" which becomes every time because it's tasty. Eating the bun because you have a little "extra room" instead of getting yourself a side salad to fill you up. Eating the million calorie sauce, which will go down way too easily, instead of substituting something healthier. If available, you might want to get the nutrition info for your favorite places to make sure what you think you are eating matches up to what you are actually eating.

If you want to reduce eating out, consider doing some meal prep/batch cooking and freezing options for when you're not in the mood to cook.

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2 hours ago, NickelChip said:

This should be fine.

It sounds like you're aware of the portion that is appropriate for you right now and making reasonable choices like leaving behind the bread. The biggest issues with restaurant foods are probably portion size and hidden calories/fat/sugar in sauces. Since you know this is part of your lifestyle to get takeout, and not something you're looking to change, I would say stay aware of the choices you make, as it will be easier to push it the further out you get.

Beware of getting the fried chicken instead of grilled "just this one time" which becomes every time because it's tasty. Eating the bun because you have a little "extra room" instead of getting yourself a side salad to fill you up. Eating the million calorie sauce, which will go down way too easily, instead of substituting something healthier. If available, you might want to get the nutrition info for your favorite places to make sure what you think you are eating matches up to what you are actually eating.

If you want to reduce eating out, consider doing some meal prep/batch cooking and freezing options for when you're not in the mood to cook.

Exactly this. I commented to my dieticians when I asked about eating out and suggested that perhaps it would be beneficial if they're familiar with basic menu choices in the local restaurants, or that they get menus from the restaurants so they can go over them with their patients. They should educate their patients on good and bad choices or how to look for hidden calories etc., opposed to what mine do - showing me the same empty container of Fage yogurt, asking what I'm eating and suggesting celery for a crunch every single time I go in. After all, their job is to educate and guide patients, not make patients figure it out on their own and make every appointment redundant and pointless.

I've asked about possible menu choices at restaurants to which they said they have no idea! You'd think it would be required knowledge to at least teach "real world" eating out situations. Most people don't ask their servers or research the menu choices or are aware there are off menu choices. Dietitians should have this knowledge, I know if I was a dietician I would.

As far as meal prep, good for you if you're one of those people who do this, I personally detest cooking and doing a weeks worth may help with the next week..but it requires one long day of cooking to do it, which I don't have the time nor inclination to do, so eating out is what I do.

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7 hours ago, NickelChip said:

This should be fine.

It sounds like you're aware of the portion that is appropriate for you right now and making reasonable choices like leaving behind the bread. The biggest issues with restaurant foods are probably portion size and hidden calories/fat/sugar in sauces. Since you know this is part of your lifestyle to get takeout, and not something you're looking to change, I would say stay aware of the choices you make, as it will be easier to push it the further out you get.

Beware of getting the fried chicken instead of grilled "just this one time" which becomes every time because it's tasty. Eating the bun because you have a little "extra room" instead of getting yourself a side salad to fill you up. Eating the million calorie sauce, which will go down way too easily, instead of substituting something healthier. If available, you might want to get the nutrition info for your favorite places to make sure what you think you are eating matches up to what you are actually eating.

If you want to reduce eating out, consider doing some meal prep/batch cooking and freezing options for when you're not in the mood to cook.

I am a huge meal prepper. I hate doing it but I do it every weekend. So I will have to look into maybe making a big batch of chili, or something that I like and freezing.

The restaurants we go to I always check the nutritional value before ordering it and I track it. We are a main stream type of food family lol

these are all great suggestions thank you!!

I hate to sound vain but I am really enjoying the way I look and also the amount of energy I have, I do not want to mess this up. I feel like I got a restart on my life!

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4 hours ago, BlondePatriotInCDA said:

Exactly this. I commented to my dieticians when I asked about eating out and suggested that perhaps it would be beneficial if they're familiar with basic menu choices in the local restaurants, or that they get menus from the restaurants so they can go over them with their patients. They should educate their patients on good and bad choices or how to look for hidden calories etc., opposed to what mine do - showing me the same empty container of Fage yogurt, asking what I'm eating and suggesting celery for a crunch every single time I go in. After all, their job is to educate and guide patients, not make patients figure it out on their own and make every appointment redundant and pointless.

I've asked about possible menu choices at restaurants to which they said they have no idea! You'd think it would be required knowledge to at least teach "real world" eating out situations. Most people don't ask their servers or research the menu choices or are aware there are off menu choices. Dietitians should have this knowledge, I know if I was a dietician I would.

As far as meal prep, good for you if you're one of those people who do this, I personally detest cooking and doing a weeks worth may help with the next week..but it requires one long day of cooking to do it, which I don't have the time nor inclination to do, so eating out is what I do.

I HATE meal prepping yet I do it every weekend..reluctantly 😂

I work full time, finishing my bachelors full time, 3 kids. Seriously cooking at the end of the day is the last thing I wanna do LOL i do have chicken in the freezer that I’ll air fry with some veggies. Make the family something easy that’s usually fattening. My dietician went MIA till the end of the year, I called my bariatric office and have yet to get a call back. So yay me 😮💨

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, AmberFL said:

I HATE meal prepping yet I do it every weekend..reluctantly 😂

I work full time, finishing my bachelors full time, 3 kids. Seriously cooking at the end of the day is the last thing I wanna do LOL i do have chicken in the freezer that I’ll air fry with some veggies. Make the family something easy that’s usually fattening. My dietician went MIA till the end of the year, I called my bariatric office and have yet to get a call back. So yay me 😮💨

Be the squeaky wheel..keep calling your dieticians office until you get a call back, show up in person or contact your insurance company and tell them the office isn't fulfilling their medical obligation to you which was part of your requirements for your surgery. Explain you've done your part and you expect them to fulfill theirs! If they can't offer you a dietician at your normal office have them recommended one or ask your insurance company for a replacement. I don't know if you had to, but I had to sign a "contract" with my Bariatric team stating I'd follow the plan, attend all my appointments etc.. They're required to fulfill their end as well.

If there's one thing I've learned about healthcare; YOU have to be the annoying squeaky wheel, your own pushy advocate to get the care you deserve.

Edited by BlondePatriotInCDA
Typo

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Can you tolerate lettuce? Do you like salad? When I had my sleeve I did a lot of chick fila. Their salads are really good and they really measure things and post the nutrition information that is actually accurate not like places that do not measure and you really don’t have any idea how many calories you are getting. Plus the crunchy toppings are on the side so you can choose to leave off if need be and they have the exact calories listed on those as well. Early out to avoid spice I got the spicy southwest salad but I asked for plain chicken breast (no seasonings) and the market salad I would get without the blue cheese. Both of these I take home and take the toppings with just a little bit of lettuce and put into a plate because it’s way too much if not. When I dine in I just do my best to eat the toppings to get the nutrition and toss the lettuce. It is a good place to go with friends because they can get what they want and I can get eat on plan. Super early out you can ask for the grilled chicken breast by itself. Panara is another place with some healthy options. I usually get the kids meal because it’s a half salad which is more than enough and you get a yogurt you can save for later instead of bread or an apple. I have often wondered if they will let you pay to double the Protein though because the half salad is half the protein which very well may be plenty. I’ve just never weighed it. Panara also has food that the rest of the family could enjoy.

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I do what you do and it's been fine. I stay away from tortillas, breads, pastas, rice, potatoes. I eat little to no sugar whenever possible, but if something has some in it, I don't freak out as long as it's not a ridiculous amount. And I just adjust what I'm eating the rest of the day. I use a minimal amount of salt, but when I use it, I use Himalayan sea salt.

Completely cutting everything out isn't realistic, so just use moderation, plan and adjust accordingly, and don't stress too much. I think if you're overall making good choices (and it sounds like you are based on what you're doing when you order take out) you'll be fine and you're good :)

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We eat out a lot since my partner works a very time intense job, we have no kids, and I'm still recovering from some serious health issues that cause a ton of fatigue. I generally aim for the same things at a restaurant that I would cook at home--healthy Proteins, lighter sauces/marinades, sides that are low carb veggies instead of starches, and I always tell the waiters no chips/no bread, because if it isn't even brought to the table, we can't eat it! Hahaha!

I've found that a lot of places will work with you to modify what you are ordering if you let them know you have special dietary needs. At my favorite Breakfast place they make me a modified kids plate (one egg, one sausage, and fresh fruit) when I don't feel like having leftovers from a full size omelet. At my favorite pho place they replace the noodles with veggies. At Mexican places I tend to order fajitas with no tortillas, Beans, or rice (my stomach does not play nice with beans or I would eat those!), or if I don't want leftovers, a side salad and steal some of my partner's Protein. Steakhouses are VERY easy as long as you tell them to keep the bread. Two veggie sides and a lean steak usually means several meals at home later! Our local taco place will make you any taco in a lettuce leaf, or in a bowl instead of a tortilla. Thai places almost always will hold the rice and give me extra veggies if I ask when I order a curry. Sashimi is an easy alternative to sushi that avoids rice and I just ask for a side of avocado so I can still have the tuna and avocado combination I love so much! Smoked chicken or pork from the bbq places is great for several meals and they always have green beans or collard greens. And there's a Peruvian chicken place close by whose chicken I like much better than the supermarket and they make salads with fresh vinaigrettes instead of cream dressings. If we are traveling we tend to eat at some sort of chain restaurant that has their nutritional info online so I can hit my macros without worrying too much.

The best advice I can give for eating out is to try and get ahold of the menu ahead of time so you can find a few options without feeling rushed in the moment when the waitress wants your order. And ask for a to-go container when they bring your food so you can put away all but the portion you would usually eat. Dieters tend to do this anyway, but our dietician suggested it to a woman who goes out to eat daily for business meetings so she wouldn't feel self-conscious about having so much food left on her plate in front of clients. When you put away your food before you start eating, people tend to forget you did and you can still stash away any last bits if you don't want to leave them behind after you eat. ❤️

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15 hours ago, ShoppGirl said:

Can you tolerate lettuce? Do you like salad? When I had my sleeve I did a lot of chick fila. Their salads are really good and they really measure things and post the nutrition information that is actually accurate not like places that do not measure and you really don’t have any idea how many calories you are getting. Plus the crunchy toppings are on the side so you can choose to leave off if need be and they have the exact calories listed on those as well. Early out to avoid spice I got the spicy southwest salad but I asked for plain chicken breast (no seasonings) and the market salad I would get without the blue cheese. Both of these I take home and take the toppings with just a little bit of lettuce and put into a plate because it’s way too much if not. When I dine in I just do my best to eat the toppings to get the nutrition and toss the lettuce. It is a good place to go with friends because they can get what they want and I can get eat on plan. Super early out you can ask for the grilled chicken breast by itself. Panara is another place with some healthy options. I usually get the kids meal because it’s a half salad which is more than enough and you get a yogurt you can save for later instead of bread or an apple. I have often wondered if they will let you pay to double the Protein though because the half salad is half the Protein which very well may be plenty. I’ve just never weighed it. Panara also has food that the rest of the family could enjoy.

I forgot about Panera! I’ll have to try this! And yes I love salads, I do put the dressing on the side. So I want ranch dressing I’ll drizzle it on. Which is rare I tend to just use lite balsamic or something. The kids menu is a great idea!

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14 hours ago, SleeveToBypass2023 said:

I do what you do and it's been fine. I stay away from tortillas, breads, pastas, rice, potatoes. I eat little to no sugar whenever possible, but if something has some in it, I don't freak out as long as it's not a ridiculous amount. And I just adjust what I'm eating the rest of the day. I use a minimal amount of salt, but when I use it, I use Himalayan sea salt.

Completely cutting everything out isn't realistic, so just use moderation, plan and adjust accordingly, and don't stress too much. I think if you're overall making good choices (and it sounds like you are based on what you're doing when you order take out) you'll be fine and you're good :)

I’ll have to get himalayn salt, I’ve read it’s best. I have noticed that I have no desire to eat how I used to, as well as my family stopped commenting on how I’m eating.

i love that you said “cutting everything out isn’t realistic, everything in moderations” you are so right! Thank you 😊

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4 hours ago, ChunkCat said:

We eat out a lot since my partner works a very time intense job, we have no kids, and I'm still recovering from some serious health issues that cause a ton of fatigue. I generally aim for the same things at a restaurant that I would cook at home--healthy Proteins, lighter sauces/marinades, sides that are low carb veggies instead of starches, and I always tell the waiters no chips/no bread, because if it isn't even brought to the table, we can't eat it! Hahaha!

I've found that a lot of places will work with you to modify what you are ordering if you let them know you have special dietary needs. At my favorite Breakfast place they make me a modified kids plate (one egg, one sausage, and fresh fruit) when I don't feel like having leftovers from a full size omelet. At my favorite pho place they replace the noodles with veggies. At Mexican places I tend to order fajitas with no tortillas, Beans, or rice (my stomach does not play nice with Beans or I would eat those!), or if I don't want leftovers, a side salad and steal some of my partner's Protein. Steakhouses are VERY easy as long as you tell them to keep the bread. Two veggie sides and a lean steak usually means several meals at home later! Our local taco place will make you any taco in a lettuce leaf, or in a bowl instead of a tortilla. Thai places almost always will hold the rice and give me extra veggies if I ask when I order a curry. Sashimi is an easy alternative to sushi that avoids rice and I just ask for a side of avocado so I can still have the tuna and avocado combination I love so much! Smoked chicken or pork from the bbq places is great for several meals and they always have green beans or collard greens. And there's a Peruvian chicken place close by whose chicken I like much better than the supermarket and they make salads with fresh vinaigrettes instead of cream dressings. If we are traveling we tend to eat at some sort of chain restaurant that has their nutritional info online so I can hit my macros without worrying too much.

The best advice I can give for eating out is to try and get ahold of the menu ahead of time so you can find a few options without feeling rushed in the moment when the waitress wants your order. And ask for a to-go container when they bring your food so you can put away all but the portion you would usually eat. Dieters tend to do this anyway, but our dietician suggested it to a woman who goes out to eat daily for business meetings so she wouldn't feel self-conscious about having so much food left on her plate in front of clients. When you put away your food before you start eating, people tend to forget you did and you can still stash away any last bits if you don't want to leave them behind after you eat. ❤️

These are great! I have been craving Pho something fierce! I will definitely try how you said. Thank you for all the suggestions! ❤️

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I've eaten out a lot recently, just circumstantial, but it's been working out okay? I got chick fil a grilled nuggets which was perfect, 4 piece. At a local seafood restaurant I got a sample platter with shrimp, scallops, salmon and spinach in a fantastic ponzu sauce, all grilled/steamed. Yesterday at dinner with friends I had a single crispy brussel sprout, and ordered Jambalaya with chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage. I ate the shrimp and chicken with the sauce, just left the rice or side each time. It was delicious and I felt like it fit my needs totally. It's weird having so much of the meal left over but when I bring it home someone in the house will always eat it. While on vacation with family I tended to just have some of whatever my spouse was having, that worked out well too. I was so nervous about it but it seems to be ok.

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I tend to find the healthier option, however I have done a burger with no bun, no Condiments. I will ask to substitute out the fries for a vegetable. Most meals at a restaurant will be 3-4 meals, and I don't eat them all in the same day. It will be spread out over the week. One thing to remember, if it is a 2000 calorie meal and you eat it all the same day (spread out), it is still a 2000 calorie meal. Just be wary of how and what you eat. I am 7.5 months PO, 8 months since I started Pre-Op, and I am still losing pretty quickly. I still limit my carbs (no bread, no rice, etc). And if you do have something that isn't "healthy", just get back on the bandwagon, don't beat yourself up about it, and don't abuse it. It is ok (no matter what everyone says) if you have something that isn't perfectly healthy once in a while. Just remember we all had the surgery for a reason, don't back slide into the same mistakes you made before.

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1 hour ago, BigZ said:

I tend to find the healthier option, however I have done a burger with no bun, no Condiments. I will ask to substitute out the fries for a vegetable. Most meals at a restaurant will be 3-4 meals, and I don't eat them all in the same day. It will be spread out over the week. One thing to remember, if it is a 2000 calorie meal and you eat it all the same day (spread out), it is still a 2000 calorie meal. Just be wary of how and what you eat. I am 7.5 months PO, 8 months since I started Pre-Op, and I am still losing pretty quickly. I still limit my carbs (no bread, no rice, etc). And if you do have something that isn't "healthy", just get back on the bandwagon, don't beat yourself up about it, and don't abuse it. It is ok (no matter what everyone says) if you have something that isn't perfectly healthy once in a while. Just remember we all had the surgery for a reason, don't back slide into the same mistakes you made before.

so yesterday it was Easter and we celebrated my sons 2nd birthday. I found it very hard for some reason to not snack! I ended up having some chips dip. Very little and then because we made tacos, my hubs made fajita veggies, so I made a "chicken salad" with the veggies, chicken pico de gallo and cowboy cavier. I love baking so I made the cupcakes and did two kinds. So when it came to the cupcakes, I did have a bite of each. My stomach is not feeling good today. I didnt feel stuffed and I tracked everything but I feel icky and swollen. Like I had too much salt. So as you said- back on the bandwagon!

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