From team lunches to happy hour drinks, food is often a central part of life in many offices. Teams from all industries make regular lunch meetings or breakfast runs a part of the work day.
However, many bariatric surgery patients find themselves unable to participate due to their weight loss surgery diet. This can lead to a frustrating dynamic at work. Those in recovery following a bariatric diet can feel alienated and unwelcome at group events.
Rather than letting your co-workers' meals stand in your way, incorporate these weight loss surgery diet tips so that you can enjoy your time at work as much as possible.
1. Plan Ahead
Instead of allowing your department to choose lunch on a whim, do your best to have a bariatric meal plan prepared ahead so that you're ready for anything. This may mean bringing fruit and nutrition bars to work with you to stave off hunger. Having healthy snacks available is a great way to avoid tempting work treats brought by co-workers.
Maybe you can pack a backup lunch on days when you may feel obligated to consume food that's not appropriate for your bariatric diet. When you have alternatives available, it’s easier to stand up for yourself and your dietary restrictions.
2. Choose Bariatric Friendly Restaurants
If team breakfasts or lunches are a regular occurrence, see if you can take a leadership role in organizing your outings. Create a lunch calendar of gastric sleeve friendly or gastric bypass friendly restaurant options. You don't have to disclose this strategy to anyone, since many popular restaurants have options that can work for you.
A good bariatric friendly restaurant will offer healthy meals with transparent nutrition information. Choose a high protein menu option that will help you meet your daily requirements, while keeping calories low. For example, lean protein, like grilled chicken, is a great option.
Another tip is to order from the kids menu or appetizer menu! Oftentimes, these portion sizes are much smaller, reducing your calories and fat. If you're trying to stay health conscious, you'll want to avoid fast food.
Some chain restaurants that we've heard have bariatric healthy choices are:
- Cheesecake Factory
- Panera Bread
- Applebee's (Weight Watchers Menu)
- Red Robin
- Ruby Tuesday's (Petite Plates)
3. Do Your Research on Bariatric Recipes
A thorough understanding of your weight loss surgery diet options is a big part of dieting success. Instead of being blindsided by a menu you can't navigate, do your best to be prepared in advance.
Typical post surgery diet consists of soft or pureed foods. Lean, protein-rich foods should be consumed daily. Many restaurants post their menus online. Some chains even post ingredient and nutritional information as well.
With a little foresight and planning, it's possible to find a healthy meal almost anywhere.
4. Confide in Your Team
If you're close with your manager, it's time to speak up. Let your boss know about your weight loss journey and your successes.
Explain the importance of your dietary choices and the requirements of your bariatric surgery diet. Let him or her know how much you'd like to participate in food-oriented events. Work with them to come up with compromises, like eating at more diet-friendly locations.
Depending on the specifics of your workplace, you can even share with other members of your team. They may be able to offer up alternative compromises for your benefit.
Losing weight is an amazing accomplishment. You should never be embarrassed or hesitant to share what you're going through.
Saying "thanks, but no thanks," isn't always easy. When you want to maintain a healthy weight loss surgery diet, planning ahead can keep your coworkers' plans from disrupting your positive trajectory.
Olde Del Mar Surgical Can Help
If you'd like to learn more about maintaining a healthy diet after bariatric surgery, Olde Del Mar Surgical is happy to help. Contact us today to explore what we can do to assist you in your weight loss journey.