Like most people, you likely lead a very busy life. Between errands, work, and carting kids around, it’s probably inevitable that most of us will find ourselves at the mercy of fast food at some point. Don’t panic!

Healthy eating is all about making good choices, watching portion sizes, and knowing what’s in the food you’re eating (watch out for sugar and fried foods!). Fortunately, more and more fast food establishments are making it easier to eat more healthfully.

Many fast-food restaurants are making nutritional information available in brochures or on their Web sites. (And as for the ones that don’t make this information available, what are they hiding? It’s up to you to patronize restaurants that will support your weight loss goals with healthy foods choices.) In the meantime, you can go to your local bookstore or take to the Internet to find calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat contents of commonly consumed foods. Many of these books list chain restaurants by name and are small enough to keep in your purse or car so you have the information at hand.

Most surgeons have a card they can give you identifying you as someone who has had weight loss surgery. By showing the card to restaurant employees,you can order off the kid’s menu or receive smaller portions of entrées.

General tips for surviving the fast-food menu board

Now, what happens if you find yourself standing in line at a fast-food restaurant without nutrition information available? Here are some guidelines you should consider when making good fast-food choices:

 

  • Pay attention to the descriptions of foods. Avoid foods that have the words deep fried, creamy, breaded, crispy, and similar words in their descriptions.
  • The plainer you can eat your food, the better off you will be. Don’t be afraid to ask to have something prepared the way you want it.
  • Have them leave off the “special sauce,” full-fat cheese, and mayo.
  • Get your salad dressing on the side and dip your lettuce or fork into the dressing.
  • Leave toppings like bacon, cheese, and croutons off salad.
  • •Drink water instead of high-calorie beverages like sweet tea, sodas, or juices. Remember not to drink with meals.
  • Avoid the value meal. Face it, if it’s in front of you, you’ll be tempted to eat it. Even better, ask for the kid’s meal (the card we discussed above could come in handy). Or, of course, you can share something with someone else. nigerian restaurant 
  • There is nothing wrong with just eating the meat out of a sandwich. You can always discard one (or both) pieces of bread.
  • Eat just until you are satisfied. One of the authors has a friend who pours salt (lots of salt!) on her food after she has reached the point where she is satisfied so she won’t eat anymore.

 

Beverage do’s and don’ts

Drinking enough liquids is important, but how you drink is just as important to your success (and feeling good). Following are some recommendations that should help you meet your fluid needs:

 

  • Don’t drink carbonated beverages. The bubbles can cause gas and bloating, which is very uncomfortable. We always get the question, “Can I drink flat cola?” Sorry, no. The heat of your body will make the flat pop release more carbonation.
  • Don’t use straws. These, too, introduce air into the pouch. People tend to take bigger drinks with straws and drink faster. This could mean you drink more than your pouch is equipped to hold and cause nausea.
  • Don’t drink caffeine. It’s generally discouraged because it can be dehydrating, and after all, that’s what you’re trying to avoid.
  • Do dilute fruit juice 50/50 with water. Limit the amount of juice to 4 ounces a day to avoid dumping syndrome and excess calories.
  • Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Stop at least 5 to 10 minutes before you eat and wait 30 minutes after you eat to begin again. If your pouch is full of liquids, you won’t be able to eat. Drinking too soon after a meal may overfill the pouch.
  • Don’t add calorie-laden cream or sweeteners to tea or coffee.
  • Do track your water intake. An easy method is to put 64 ounces of water in a jug first thing in the morning. Throughout the day, drink directly from the jug or pour out the same amount if you drink something else. Do whatever works for you to be sure you get in the amount of fluid you need to stay hydrated.

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