Eating Out At Restaurants For Weight Loss After Gastric Bypass in 2021

Eating Out For Weight Loss After Gastric Bypass
I’m hungry writing this post…

Eating out for weight loss after gastric bypass was such a fear for me before surgery.

I loved my food, and I loved having someone else cook it. We all love food, and it seems we even have that “last meal” before surgery to grieve over our bittersweet goodbyes.

But, inevitably, we will likely end up back at our old haunts. Except not able to eat what we once could.

Ditch The Guilt About Eating Out For Weight Loss After Gastric Bypass

We live in a very, very busy world. Some of us have kids, pets, or lots of different things going on in our lives. Dinner won’t make itself, so sometimes we have to pay someone to make it for us.

There is no shame in this. You do not need to become the world’s most dedicated chef after gastric bypass in order to lose the weight or maintain. Though, to be fair, you will need to cook most of your foods. We all do.

But going out to eat is a pleasurable luxury, and you’re not being denied that just because you had weight loss surgery.

Remember The Rules While Eating Out After Gastric Bypass

  • Choose meals where the protein is the star, the veggies are the supporting character, and the foods are only cooked in butter, not slathered in it.
  • Do not drink for up to 30 minutes once you have finished eating.
    • You don’t want to push anything through the pouch. Drink as much as you like, though, until you start eating. If it’s too tempting, tell them no drink… not even water.
  • Ask for a to-go box with your meal.
    • Before you start eating, portion out the meal for the size of your palm and put everything in the to-go box for later.
  • Check out the menu ahead of time to decide what you feel comfortable eating, and to think about any substitutions you’ll want to ask about.
    • But don’t worry, as this step becomes less necessary as you learn what you can eat at different places, and can pivot quickly in many different food scenarios.
  • Make eating out all about the experience, the ambiance, the luxury, and the company.
    • The food is the least of all the reasons to go out to eat, honestly. Though, that sounds weird, I admit. But you’ll become such an adept cook that you’ll probably start thinking “I could have made this better at home…” and so the food becomes “Meh”. Even at the places you used to love. It’s a good thing.
  • Order off the Kid’s Menu or order an appetizer for your meal

Eating Out At Some National Restaurant Chains

BJ’s restaurants and Brewhouse

AppetizersFire-Roasted Barbacoa Chicken
Appetizers Sauced N’ Tossed Chicken Thighs
Appetizers California Club Flatbread
(Finally, Pizza!!)
Appetizers Pepperoni Extreme Flatbread
(Finally, Pizza!!)
Appetizers Margherita Fresca Flatbread
(Finally, Pizza!!)
Appetizers Tumeric-Roasted Cauliflower
(So, so yummy! Served like a soup,
so a good meal option.)
Soups &
Vegan Lentil With
Ancient Grains Soup
Soups &
Piranha Pale Ale Chili
Soups &
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Soups &
Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
BurgersEnlightened Barbeque Bison Burger, No bun
BurgersEnlightened Turkey Burger, No bun
& Tacos
Mahi-Mahi Or Shrimp Tacos
(Get veggies instead of chips, leave off the tortillas)
& Tacos
Enlightened Mediterranean Chicken
Pita Tacos (Leave off the pita bread)
& Tacos
Enlightened Barbacoa Cauliflower Pita Tacos
(Leave off the pita bread)
PizzasGluten-Free Thin Crust – Whatever topping you like
Do NOT get: Fish N Chips or Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Even while traveling in different states, I have never been to this restaurant without feeling incredibly welcome and experiencing amazing service. They make eating out for weight loss after gastric bypass a real pleasure.

The food’s so good, too. But these days, it’s all ambiance and experience that make me happy.

When browsing their entrees, pick anything from the list AS LONG AS you eat the protein first, then the veggies, and leave whatever grain items are left on the plate.

So in order to have a great experience, just avoid eating the Soba noodles, the buns or pita breads or tortillas on the burgers and tacos, and any rice. Everything else is fair game, though.

Olive Garden

AppetizersFamous House Salad without Croutons110 Calories
Classic EntreesHerb-grilled Salmon & veggies460 Calories
Entrees6 oz sirloin & veggies310 Calories
SoupZuppa Toscana220 Calories

The Olive Garden is a little harder for me to visit, because I love pasta. So being surrounded by it is a challenge. Plus, add in the challenge of not getting a glass of wine, too.

They used to serve meatballs by themselves, though, I don’t see that on the current menu. You can always ask, though!

Red Robin

BurgersThe Wedge Burger
BurgersThe Vegan Burger
AppetizersBacon Jammin’ Wings
AppetizersRed’s Bold Boneless Wings
AppetizersBar Wings N’ Yukon Chips
EntreesEnsenada Chicken Platter
Kid’s MealsGrilled Chicken Dip’Ns
SandwichesWhisky River BBQ
Chicken Wrap (My fav…)
Salads and
Salads and
Southwest Salad
Salads and
Simply Grilled Chicken

I’ve eaten at Red Robin for so many years after surgery. But, a LOT of the sauces on these above dishes have sugar and may cause dumping. So buyer beware…

Also, everyone tolerates food differently. You see, I cannot personally tolerate salads, but I’ve included them here for those who can. I would eat all of the toppings on the salad, though, and leave the lettuce. And it is enough to fill you up anyway.


AppetizerBoneless Wings
AppetizerBone-In Wings
Ribs & SteaksOriginal Full Order Ribs
(Split with someone, or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & SteaksOriginal Half Order Ribs
(Still split or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & Steaks House BBQ Full Order Ribs
(Still split or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & Steaks House BBQ Half Order Ribs
(Still split or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & Steaks Texas Dry Rub Full Order Ribs
(Still split or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & Steaks Texas Dry Rub Half Order Ribs
(Still split or put in a to-go box)
Ribs & SteaksClassic Ribeye
Ribs & Steaks Classic Sirloin
FajitasAny fajita option is great! Sub out the rice
for veggies, though.
SaladsSanta Fe Chicken Salad
SaladsCaribbean Salad with Seared Shrimp
SaladsSouthwest Chicken Caesar Salad
SaladsSouthwest Shrimp Caesar Salad
SaladsGrilled Chicken Salad
SoupBowl of the Original Chili
Chicken &
Chipotle Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl
(Don’t eat the rice)
Chicken &
Chipotle Shrimp Fresh Mex Bowl
(Don’t eat the rice)
Chicken &
Ancho Salmon
Chicken &
Margarita Grilled Chicken
Chicken &
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
(sub out the rice for veggies)
Chicken &
Mango-Chile Chicken
Tacos &
Ranchero Chicken Tacos
(Sub out the rice for veggies)

It took me ages to be able to eat anything at Chili’s. Everything used to be so breaded and fried or full on sugar. They have REALLY changed their menu, to our benefit.

Though, the BBQ sauce in the above rib recommendation may be too much, so try the dry rub first.

Also, being able to eat red meat after gastric bypass can be a real challenge. And you shouldn’t really even attempt it until month 9 or later. So pick one of the many different options and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on much.

Old Chicago’s

Taproom StartersRoasted Cauliflower
Hand Tossed WingsBoneless or Bone-in
Salad & SoupSpinach, Chicken
& Avocado
Salad & Soup Roasted chicken
& apple walnut
Salad & Soup Old Chicago Chopped
Salad & Soup Garden
Salad & Soup Caesar
Salad & Soup Chicken Green Chili

Going to Old Chicago’s is like a masters class on will power, though. So, I don’t go there often, myself. I just loved pizza too, too much before surgery.

But, if I do happen to be there, they do have some options. Inevitably, though, I’ll eat the toppings off a slice of pizza. Better than the whole thing, I guess.

Red Lobster

StartersBacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops
Starters Signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Starters White Wine and Roasted-Garlic Mussels
Starters Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
Bowls &
Sesame-Soy Salmon Bowl
Bowls &
Baja Shrimp Bowl
(Sub out the rice)
Bowls &
Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon
ClassicsSalmon New Orleans (Full or half)
Classics Live Main Lobster
Classics Wild-Caught Snow Crab Legs
Classics Wild-Caught Dungeness Crab
Classics Atlantic Salmon
Classics Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Classics Rainbow Trout
Classics Sirloin
Classics NY Strip
Classics Filet Mignon
SidesGreen Beans
SidesBaked Potato

I LOVE Red Lobster! My favorite thing to get is a side of crab on whatever my husband is eating. And that crab lasts me the whole time, takes forever to eat, and fills me up. I feel so satisfied when I get to eat here.

So, definitely one of my favorite sit down place post gastric bypass! Though, as much as I wish, the cheddar biscuits and I are not friends…

So, do not be tempted by their soups or side dishes that aren’t listed above. The creamy Langostino and Norway Lobster Mashed and Baked Potatoes WILL make you dump, and is so not worth it. I think the fat content is just too much.

Trust me, I’ve tried and tried and dumped and dumped.

Stick To the Rules, and Enjoy Your Life

Eating out for weight loss after gastric bypass doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a small gathering of the types of places you might go out to eat and what you should be looking for there.

So, the theme is the same for all the great options you can choose from: no grains or buns or tortillas or sugar. Though everything else is a great idea.

Eat your protein first, then veggies.

Just do not drink with your meal, and wait 30 minutes after you’re done eating to take that sip.

Life is so great and just waiting for you to enjoy it!

Happy eating out and happy weight loss <3


For most of my life I was overweight. In my 30s, I became morbidly obese, tipping the scales over 330 pounds. After trying and failing at every diet, I decided to get gastric bypass RNY weight loss surgery. Since 2016 I have been living a much healthier life, I hit my weight loss goals, but more importantly, understand weight loss now. I am determined to share what I now know.

Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: