The Ultimate Guide to Bariatric-Friendly Fast Food Options

In the hustle and bustle of life, finding time for a healthy home-cooked meal can be challenging. Recognizing this, we reached out to our bariatric community to discover their go-to fast-food choices. This post will guide you through determining the right time for fast food, selecting bariatric-friendly items, and transitioning to healthier home-prepped meals.

When Is It Safe To Eat Fast Food After Bariatric Surgery?

The key is to consult your bariatric registered dietitian. Initially, options may be limited, but as you progress through diet phases, choices expand. Once you’re on the soft solid phase, some Programs are okay with patients ordering chili from Wendy’s or grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A because the meat is really moist and well-hydrated. Once you’re fully advanced to a regular bariatric staged diet, you can enjoy all items off a Fast Food menu. However, choosing the healthiest item is of course the most important part!

Choosing Bariatric Friendly Fast Food:

Discover creative ways to enjoy fast food post-surgery. For sandwiches, consider lettuce wraps instead of bread. Opt for grilled, not fried, protein options. Gradually reduce or eliminate unnecessary carbohydrates like bread. Explore healthier alternatives on the kids’ menu and skip the meal deals in favor of water with a side of salad or fruit. There are a lot of protein sources at fast food restaurants, but always steer away from fried and greasy options. Instead, look for grilled alternatives to protein.

How Frequently Should Bariatric Patients Eat Fast Food?

Prioritize home-prepped meals for optimal health. If you find yourself at fast-food joints regularly, try replicating your favorites at home. Start small, gradually reducing fast-food visits. The healthiest meals will always be meals prepped at home. If you are going to fast food every single day for lunch at work, try to “reverse engineer” your favorite items you order. If your instinct is to order a few tacos at Taco Bell, try transforming it into a “burrito bowl” at home that consists of steamed cauliflower rice with lime and cilantro, topped with protein, shredded lettuce, cheese, greek yogurt, and salsa.

Having some mozzarella cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and some plain nuts can make a huge difference in helping you stay full when you need a little pick-me-up through certain energy slumps in your day. If you’re not already having a protein shake in your day, you can add one in as well to keep your car from pulling in to the drive-thru lane.

Bariatric Fast Food Ideas:

To assist you in navigating fast-food menus, here is a clip taken from a fully recorded support group inside our All Access Membership with Banana Bariatrics. During this call, we discussed how to order healthy food options from popular restaurant options. Check out insights on menus from Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Mexican restaurants, Chipotle, Potbelly’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, and Taco Bell.

Striking a balance between occasional fast-food indulgence and prioritizing home-cooked meals is key for bariatric patients. Use these insights to make informed choices and enjoy a healthier post-surgery lifestyle.

Struggling With Meal Planning

The transition from eating out all of the time to cooking at home more times than not can be tough! To make this a little bit easier, we’ve put together a FREE Meal Planner Template that you can download in order to stay consistent with meal prepping each week!

Our FREE Meal Planner Template will help you:

  • Think of fresh new recipe ideas
  • Ensure you have bariatric friendly snack options on-the-ready
  • Choose healthier fast food and take-out options
  • Avoid inflammatory foods that can make it hard to lose weight
  • Understand macros more clearly after surgery
  • Create an easy meal prep template to use for the week
  • Troubleshoot the barriers that get in the way of your meal prep success
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