Feature: Dining and Dating with Gastric Banding

Fall 2005

Volume One / Number Two

Featured Article: Dining and Dating with Gastric Banding

by Dr. George Fiedling

Eating and drinking with friends is part of life. Even though what and how you eat has changed you can still enjoy the party!

Here are a few tips to make it easier:

1. Most importantly, relax. You are going out to have fun, not to pass a test. There’s no doubt that in most obese people’s pre- surgical life it’s as if food IS your life. The lap band frees you to enjoy the company. You won’t be hungry, and you won’t care that you aren’t eating all that food.

2. Forget the rule about not drinking with your meal, just for the night. Have a settling drink, something like sherry, champagne, wine, whiskey or a martini, whatever you like. If you prefer a mixed drink, ALWAYS have diet mixers. Everyone else has one, so join in. It passes time completely without pressure, and the alcohol relaxes your esophagus, a warm up for later.

3. Don’t eat any bread. None at all - Never.

4. Have soup as an appetizer. Other good choices are oysters, figs and arugula salad, sashimi, creamy risotto and beef or tuna tartar. Avoid shrimp and calamari. If these aren’t available, just pass and enjoy the company, until you and your band are as one, which usually takes about a year.

5. Avoid all solid cuts of red meat, especially steak, as a main course. In steak houses, even in The Palm or Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s, eat the salmon, the tuna or as a last resort the lobster. Break the lobster into smallish bits. Also avoid anything with cold chicken, turkey or duck. The dark portions of these birds are OK served hot, as long as they are moist.

6. Pass on dessert. You’ll only feel guilty later if you don’t. Have a coffee and relax.

7. Enjoy yourself, and enjoy the freedom from hunger and overeating

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