Want some Tips for Eating Out on the Low FODMAP Diet?
How to Eat Low FODMAP foods and Enjoy Eating Out? Are you worried about low FODMAP foods ruining your enjoyment of eating out? Don't! Here's how to navigate eating out while following the low FODMAP diet.
If IBS is ruining your life, the first thing to understand is you are not alone.
There are over 3 million annual doctor's visits related to IBS in the United States each year.
As comforting as that might be, comfort doesn't help you when you're always running to the bathroom. That's where low FODMAP foods come in.
Switching to a FODMAP diet can change your life.
FODMAP stands for "fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols."
It's a simple acronym for complicated scientific terms which classify different kinds of carbs. These include wheat, rye, legumes, milk, yogurts, cheeses, and even some fruits.
Such complex carbs tend to cause bloating, gas, or stomach pain after eating.
Thankfully, you don't have to fall into their trap anymore, that why today we give you Tips for Eating Out on the Low FODMAP Diet.
Here's how to live a FODMAP lifestyle anywhere you go.
1. Be Upfront
If you're dining out, chances are you're doing so for social reasons.
Mention you are focusing on eating low FODMAP foods while you're making plans.
This will prevent the awkward back and forth of deciding. You know, like when your friends really want to go to a pizza parlor but there's nothing on the menu there for you.
It may feel like an inconvenience at first, but it's a more than justified request to make.
You don't have to go into all the details of battling your IBS, either. Simply mention low FODMAP foods are much better for your health, and your friends should understand.
2. Plan Ahead
Sometimes your friends compromise for you. Sometimes, you compromise for them.
If the plan to eat out doesn't seem like it will quite fit your FODMAP diet, don't worry. Just prepare to eat a small, light meal wherever you go.
This is often the case if the only thing you can order is a side salad (watch the dressing!). Or, if you choose not to eat low FODMAP foods here and there, do so in small portions.
Either way, go into your gathering with a plan in mind.
3. Switch Up the Menu
You may be surprised to find some restaurants have more low FODMAP foods than you think!
There are many meals that can be modified to fit your dietary restrictions too.
Get creative with your choices and consider how you can turn a not-so-safe option into a FODMAP go-to. This could be as simple as asking for no dressing or no cheese.
Don't forget to keep the seasons basic as well. Things like garlic, onion, and even too much salt can upset your stomach.
4. Stand Behind Your Request
It's one thing to get into the habit of making special requests.
It's another to become comfortable with sending your food back when that request isn't met. At some point or another, this is bound to happen.
Approach the situation as nicely as you can. But, don't be afraid to stand your ground a bit.
The waiter should understand. It's often not their fault, most of them will tell you when it is!
5. Speak the Local Language
Speaking of communicating your need for low FODMAP foods, communicate as best as possible.
This is particularly crucial to keep in mind when traveling.
Translate your usual requests ahead of time if you know you have a vacation coming up. Even basic terms like "no gluten" and "no dairy" will help you more than you think.
Also, research a culture's traditional plates and their variations.
Your diet shouldn't be a reason to hold back from enjoying yourself. When you research, you give yourself plenty of time to know what to expect and what kind of modifications to ask for.
Keep in mind, though, some destinations match up with your diet better than others.
6. Pack Your (Snack) Bags
There is still hope if your travel plans aren't as low FODMAP-friendly as you might have thought.
No, you don't have to cancel your ticket.
You just have to make room in your suitcase to bring along some of your favorite, FODMAP-allowed snacks. Or, make room in your budget to purchase these from a market after checking into your accommodations.
Keep snacks on-hand wherever you go.
You'll thank yourself when you get hungry on public transportation or if your travel buddies want to try something you can't have.
7. Save the Snacks
As great of a resource your snacks are, they are just that - a resource.
Don't use them up in the first leg of your travels.
Instead, try to break up your munching with actual meals.
You may need to rely on the habits you use at home to make this possible. So, plan ahead, ask for special requests, and (kindly) send it back if someone gets it wrong.
8. Look for the Best Places for FODMAP Eating
Another tool to keep in mind when eating out on vacation is research.
Do your fair share of this before you even get on the plane. Reach out to friends who have been to where you are going, or bring up the FODMAP diet on travel forums.
You'll be surprised how many recommendations you get! These will likely accommodate all kinds of foodies and restrictions, too.
At the very least, it allows you to balance the different kinds of restaurant destinations your group plans to try.
9. Skip the Drinks
Whether on vacation or at home, you're going to be invited for drinks at some point.
Eating low FODMAP foods doesn't mean you have to decline, but try not to go crazy either.
Just remember, some drink choices are better than others. If you can't help but order that pina colada, be prepared to pay for its consequences later.
10. Stay In
Sometimes, the best way to eat low FODMAP foods is to just stay in.
This doesn't mean you have to turn down your friends. Instead, bring the fun to your place!
Hosting a dinner party can create warm, meaningful memories. Often more so than going out. Try it every once in a while to keep your diet in check and keep the good times rolling.
Meal Plans and Recipes: Eating Low FODMAP Foods Made Easier
Love the dinner party idea, but don't know what to make?
Actually, still getting used to the FODMAP lifestyle?
We've got it covered.
Click here for meal plans and recipes that are FODMAP-friendly! Feel free to share this if you enjoy our Tips for Eating Out on the Low FODMAP Diet.