Acid Reflux and Restaurants PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Everyone loves a night on the town, and eating at a restaurant can be a real treat.  If you suffer from acid reflux, however, your restaurant experience can be a real pain.  Suffering with acid reflux doesn't mean that you have to cancel your social plans.  You can still enjoy those dinner dates and go out with your friends; you just need to keep a few important points in mind.

The first thing that you need to remember when eating out is that it isn't a dietary free-for-all.  Just because you're treating yourself to a restaurant meal, you can't just abandon all of the rules that apply to your regular acid reflux diet.  Those who are being treated for severe acid reflux have been placed on a special diet, and it's important to uphold the menu whether you're at home or out on the town.  If you're at a familiar restaurant, you might find it easy to make healthy choices to fit your specialized diet.  If you have plans to visit a new restaurant, try to find their menu online before you leave home.  This will allow you to go over the menu at your leisure, freeing up time to enjoy your restaurant experience later on.  Many chains post their menus online, and most restaurants highlight the healthy choices on their menus.  Knowing what you will order before you sit down will help to prevent you from making poor choices under pressure.

When you stick with your diet, particularly when eating out, you're less likely to suffer from the embarrassing problems that can be associated with your severe acid reflux.   Try your best to avoid temptation, and you'll definitely be happier and more comfortable in the end.  If you must sample something you'd typically consider to be "forbidden", just take a tiny nibble or two.  You can still enjoy the taste without wreaking havoc on your system.

Be mindful of the amount you eat.  One common cause of acid reflux and indigestion is simply eating too much.  Even if you choose healthy foods, don't overdo it.  Severe acid reflux can cause people to vomit when they overeat, and this is certainly no way to spend your time when you have a night on the town. 

There are different reasons why people overeat at restaurants:

* Big Portions:  Restaurants tend to load up the plates with so much food; it's easy to overeat.  The amount of food on your plate may be way more than you'd normally eat, but you don't really notice because the plate is often huge. Keep an eye on your portions, and don't overdo it.   One way to control the portion size is by ordering a "lunch size" rather than a dinner portion.  Or, simply order lighter fare such as a soup and salad instead of a big bowl of pasta.  

* Pay Attention:  It's easy to get caught up in the conversation and the enjoyment of the evening.  Then, before you know it, you've polished off an entire surf and turf platter. Eating and socializing naturally go together, but you need to keep an eye on how much you're eating, and keep from overindulging.

*Obligation:  Many people insist on finishing every bite, because they're either paying for the food, or being treated as a guest.  We've been raised to believe that it's rude to leave food on the table.  The obvious remedy for this situation, of course, is the doggie bag.  Eat only as much as you need, and then ask your server to wrap the rest.  It will make a great lunch tomorrow.    

You don't need to make up excuses when you're friends invite you out.  Just be mindful of the choices you make and the amount that you eat.  It is absolutely possible to enjoy a great restaurant meal, in spite of your acid reflux.  Stay as close as possible to your daily routine and enjoy a fun (and acid reflux-free) night on the town.
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