Low FODMAP Eating Out

Low FODMAP Eating Out

Eating out on a low FODMAP diet can seem daunting, but with the right strategies and tips, you can confidently enjoy meals outside the house. 


The low FODMAP diet is designed to minimize the intake of certain carbohydrates that can trigger digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. However, navigating the menu at a restaurant can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with the ingredients in the dishes.


Eating out on Low Fodmap


In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and strategies for low FODMAP eating out. Whether you’re at a fast-food restaurant, a fine dining restaurant, or just grabbing a bite on the go, you can follow these guidelines to ensure you can stick to the low FODMAP diet even when you don’t have control over the menu.

Low FODMAP eating out can feel impossible, but with a few tips and tricks, you can make it work!


How to Eat out on Low Fodmap Diet

Infographic with 6 Tips for Low FODMAP Eating Out

One of the best things you can do when eating out is to do some research before you head to the restaurant. Here are some ways you can plan ahead to make low FODMAP eating out less stressful.


Before You Arrive at the Restaurant


Check out the menu online


Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to check out a restaurant’s menu online before you go. Take a look at the menu and make a note of any options that look like they’ll work for you. Once you arrive at the restaurant, you can confirm with the serving staff that the meal doesn’t include any high FODMAP ingredients.


Call ahead


If you cannot find menu information online, try calling the restaurant beforehand to see whether they can accommodate low FODMAP options. Restaurants appreciate being told in advance that they may need to make substitutions to suit your dietary needs, and this can provide peace of mind that you’ll be able to eat at the restaurant.


Consider restaurants that offer gluten-free options


While gluten isn’t technically the problem on a low FODMAP diet, gluten-free options are also wheat-free. Since wheat is a significant source of FODMAPs, choosing gluten-free options can be an easy switch to ensure your meal is low FODMAP. Try choosing restaurants that offer a good range of gluten-free options.


Consider dining during off-peak hours


If possible, try to dine during times when the restaurant is not as busy. This will make it easier to chat with the server about your dietary needs and will ensure the kitchen has enough time to prepare your food.


Bring a printed list of foods you need to avoid


Communication is key, and having a list of foods you need to avoid can be extremely helpful for the restaurant staff. Try to bring a printed list of the foods you need to avoid so that your server can provide it to the chef and ensure that no high FODMAP ingredients are added to your meal.


Keep the rest of your meals low FODMAP


FODMAPs tend to have a “bucket” effect. Everyone has a different-sized “bucket,” and it’s only once your FODMAP intake passes a certain threshold that symptoms appear. By keeping the rest of your day low FODMAP, you’ll ensure that your FODMAP “bucket” is almost empty when you go out to eat. That way, even if you eat some FODMAPs with your restaurant meal, they will be less likely to cause symptoms.


At the Restaurant


Once you’re at the restaurant, try to choose meals that can be easily adapted to be low FODMAP. Here are some types of meals that are usually safe to order or can be easily adapted to be low FODMAP.


Grilled or roasted chicken, beef, pork, or fish


Grilled proteins are often safe options for low FODMAP eating out. Be sure to ask whether the meat has been marinated or seasoned with high FODMAP ingredients like onion and garlic. If it has, ask if they can prepare the protein without these ingredients. Pair with a side of steamed vegetables and a carbohydrate like rice, quinoa, or potatoes for a complete meal.




Salads are typically easy to tailor to your dietary requirements. Many dressings contain garlic, so ask if they can dress the salad with lemon juice or vinegar and olive oil instead (or bring your own dressing to use!). When ordering a salad, look out for high FODMAP ingredients like croutons and dried fruit.




Choose a gluten-free pizza base with plain tomato paste. Top the pizza with low FODMAP ingredients and request that they do not add any high FODMAP ingredients like onion or garlic to the toppings or sauce.




Many types of sushi are naturally low FODMAP. If you order rolls with avocado, limit your serving size, as avocado is high FODMAP in serving sizes of ¼ avocado or higher. You may also want to limit any rolls that contain tempura, as tempura is made with wheat flour, which is high FODMAP. The small amount of wheat found in soy sauce usually isn’t a problem for someone following the low FODMAP diet.




Many restaurants will offer a gluten-free option for their pasta dishes. Be sure to check whether the seasonings and sauce have high FODMAP ingredients like onion, garlic, and cream, and ask if these ingredients can be omitted.


Keep your non-FODMAP IBS triggers in mind


While it’s possible to choose low FODMAP options when dining out, it’s important to remember that FODMAPs are not the only cause of symptoms for people with IBS. Some of the other triggers for IBS symptoms include:

  • High-fat meals
  • Spicy food
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine


Try to be mindful of these other IBS triggers to ensure you’re not inadvertently eating non-FODMAP foods that could cause symptoms.


FODMAP Dietician can help


Low FODMAP eating out can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re struggling to understand your IBS triggers, working with a registered dietician, like Keren Reiser, who is trained on using a low FODMAP diet for IBS by Monash University, can help.


Click here to get in touch with Keren and book a free 15-minute discovery call today!


Why Do I Feel Fat after Eating?

Why Do I Feel Fat after Eating?

While some of the most frustrating symptoms of IBS are physical, we don’t often talk about the mental symptoms of living with IBS. One of the biggest challenges people with IBS face is they feel fat after eating and struggle with their body image due to bloating. Bloating can cause your body to look very different from “normal,” and it can be frustrating to overcome.

Today, we’ll review some factors that affect body image and some strategies for promoting body image resilience when living with IBS. Body image resilience refers to navigating your negative feelings around “Why do I look fat after I eat” to protect your mental health and well-being. 


Why Do I Look Fat after I Eat?


Unfortunately, we live in a society that praises thinness above all else. This focus means that how we often feel centres on how we look. 


When you’re constantly bloated, this can really play with your self-esteem. While it’s normal for bodies to experience a small amount of bloating throughout the day (after all, the food has to go somewhere!), IBS takes it to an extreme.


With IBS, you can go from a fairly flat stomach to a “6 months pregnant” belly in the blink of an eye. It can be extremely jarring to see such a large change so quickly. And it doesn’t help that the bloating also causes you to feel physically unwell.


IBS Belly Bloat after Eating – Body Image Resilience


Body shame and poor body image are incredibly common in people with IBS. Learning how to practice body image resilience can be an excellent first step in moving past your focus on your body and instead focusing on your being as a whole. 


Promote positive self-talkgraphic quote "You wouldn’t bash a friend for looking bloated, so you shouldn’t bash yourself"


We all have a little voice inside our heads, which can either help or hinder us. Unfortunately, negative self-talk can often get out of hand, leading to poor body image and mental health.

Try to be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Be critical about what you’re telling yourself. One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to speak to myself the way I’d speak to a friend. You wouldn’t bash a friend for looking bloated, so you shouldn’t bash yourself.


The next time you notice a negative thought related to your body image like “Why Do I Look Fat after I Eat?”, try reframing it to ” “I am feeling bloated right now because it is normal to experience bloating after eating.” Remind yourself that bloating is temporary. Also, remind yourself that you deserve love, respect, and belonging, regardless of your body.


Unfollow for better mental health


Ever wondered how social media impacts body image? While social media can be a great way to feel like a part of a community and get to know other people experiencing the same struggles that you are, it can also lead to poor body image.


It may be time for a social media detox if you feel triggered by the posts you see on social media. Ask yourself whether the account you’re following uplifts or brings you down. If they bring you down, unfollow them! 


Set goals that have nothing to do with appearance


Our bodies are amazing for what they can do, and we do a disservice to ourselves by only praising them and appreciating them for their appearance.


One of the best ways to develop body image resilience is to set activity goals that have nothing to do with appearance. For some people, this may mean exercising to build strength. For others, it may mean improving endurance. It could also mean exercising for healthy aging rather than weight loss. By making the goal about something other than weight loss, you give yourself a chance to succeed in ways you could never have imagined.


Ask yourself what you truly value.


When your identity is tied up in your appearance, you lose sight of who you are. It limits what you think you can achieve and impairs your ability to work towards fulfilling your talents and potential.


As adults, our goals in life often include a goal body, and many of us can’t imagine our happiest selves without also imagining a different body. But at the end of the day, if your mission in life is to be smaller, you’ll never find true fulfillment.


Take the time to think about what you truly want from your life, appearances aside. Do you have career goals you’d like to work towards? Parenting goals? Friendship goals? Once you take appearance out of the equation, it becomes so much easier to identify what is truly important to you. 


Find a support system.


You don’t have to suffer in silence if you live with a negative body image. Try opening up to a person you trust. If you feel uncomfortable talking to a friend or family member about it, consider speaking with a registered dietitian to help you navigate your IBS triggers and minimize symptoms that may influence your mental health.


Interested in working on body image and bloating with a registered dietitian?

Book a complimentary 15-minute call with me to see whether we’re a good fit for one another.