How To Dine Out ‘Mexican Style’ After Weight Loss Surgery

Mexican food – hot, spicy, fresh and delicious! Depending on your menu selection, it can be a great way to dine out post weight loss surgery.

However on first glance at a Mexican menu, words such as ‘deep fried’, ‘smothered’ in special sauce and cheese or ‘drenched’ in ranchero sauce can leap off the page. Serve sizes can be enormous and a recipe for overeating is brewing. It is so important that you take time to navigate the menu carefully, looking for weight loss surgery friendly options that fit with your individual tolerance, capacity and the meal balance you require.

Dining out is not a good time to experiment with foods you have not tolerated at home, so avoid anything you know has caused you issues – the last thing you want is to spend an evening in the bathroom.

When looking at a menu, I suggest you focus on the entrée or starter section, as serves are far more suitable following weight loss surgery. Also check with the staff, as they may offer half serves of main dishes. Look for options that contain a protein food and haven’t been near the deep fryer. Also ask for any sauces or extras such as sour cream, cheese and guacamole on the side.

I checked out a local Mexican restaurant menu here. I liked the sound of the Chilli con carne in the Dips/Starter section – minced meat and beans are a great source of protein. Ask for the chilli to be served with a crispy taco in place of corn chips and cheese to be served on the side. The Taco with shredded beef or chicken (minus the ranchero sauce) would also be a great option. Again ‘mix and match’ and ask for a little salsa or guacamole for moisture and cheese on the side.

In the mains section the ‘Albondigas’ (Mexican meatballs and rice) looks like another great option if you eat your meatballs first and don’t fill up on rice. Again, ask for cheese on the side.

Most menu items can be altered using a ‘mix and match’ strategy, ensuring you avoid or minimise the bits you don’t want and enjoy what you do, for example:

  • If you don’t tolerate, or prefer to avoid bread items, you could ask for the fillings of a burrito or tortilla, minus the wrap itself.
  • If a wrap is also served with rice, ask for one of these items to be left in the kitchen. One source of carbohydrate per meal is enough.

A great strategy is to call the restaurant you will be dining at or look them up online to review their menu and decide the best option for you ahead of time.

Finally, some wise words from one of our Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery clients:
“When eating out you pay for a satisfied stomach, not an empty plate.”

Happy dining out and “provecho”!

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