Food and Socializing

Socializing and eating have been linked throughout the ages and pose big challenges for bariatric patients. They need to adapt a new habit of socializing without the need to eat whenever possible. Changing the social event to a nonfood format like a pool party or nature hike can be suggested by the patient to minimize food temptations. If a meal or snack is included, make it a healthy choice or suggest an alternative restaurant where nutritious choices are offered.

The process of living healthy applies to encouraging solitary dinner at a restaurant because The Journal of Consumer Research states we have more fun by ourselves when we get out of the house. Some bariatric patients feel they cannot socialize or eat out because of portion sizes, food choices, or dining alone. A growing segment of patients are single while others prefer to spend their eating time alone than with company.

Dining out successfully is an art for bariatric surgery patients. Here are several tips provided during support group meetings:

  • • Call ahead to the restaurant and have a menu sent to you so meal choices can be planned ahead
  • • Eat a healthy snack before going out to so you don’t arrive hungry and only need to order soup or salad
  • • No bread basket on the table
  • • Select nonfried appetizer (shrimp cocktail), steamed spring rolls, or skewered chicken and vegetable kebob
  • • Be specific about how you want a meal item prepared
  • • Eat slowly and savor every bite
  • • Sip tomato juice while others eat rice and baked potato
  • • Share an appetizer and/or entree
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