I have heard people talk about getting a 'restaurant card' from their surgeons office. I didn't get one. Where do I get one?

Years ago, back when people had never heard of bariatric surgery, some doctors offices gave their patients 'bariatric cards'. These cards assisted us if we ever needed help in explaining our surgery for medical needs.

Example: Presenting the card to a pharmacist so they would understand your need for a sugar free cough syrup. Showing the card to your foot doctor so they would know WHY you can't take NSAID medications.

TODAY, everyone has heard of bariatric surgery but for some reason some post ops believe these 'cards' are restaurant discount cards and they are meant to clear the way to pay less for food.

The intent of this 'card' has nothing to do with restaurants or what you pay.

Bariatric surgery is personal medical choice where a stomach is made smaller to hold less food to assist with morbid obesity.

Before having surgery, no one charged us more if we made two more trips to the food bar than our table mates, so we are way ahead.


  1. Read the menu and order what is appropriate for your surgical stage. Many order an appetizer and ask that it be served at the same time as the entrees. IDEA! You can order a chicken sandwich and either take it apart when it arrives, or ask that it be served on a plate so you end up with a small portion of protein and a nice side salad. This is very common these days - it is called 'Protein Style' and many people who have not had bariatric surgery do this. (my husband orders his grilled mahi sandwich 'protein style' at the Whales Rib and gets a platter with a 6 ounce portion of fish, side salad and black beans!)
  2. If you are not 12 years old, the Children's Menu is not offered to you - in addition, kids menus are fried chicken, spaghetti and grilled cheese - not bariatric friendly.
  3. Likewise, if you are not 50 or older, the restaurant may not allow you to order from a Senior Menu. If you see something that is 'friendly' on a Senior Menu and ask nicely, most of the time it's not an issue, but if it is, you cannot strong arm the restaurant into giving it to you. They don't really care that you had stomach surgery, nor should you have to tell them that.

Remember that Skinny People who never ate 3000 calorie meals in their entire lifetime don't get a card or a discount. For years, my grandma ate five bites and left the rest and she never expected a discount.

With all due respect make good menu choices, pay your check, and stay outta buffets. If you need a card with a medical explanation of your surgery, get one to assist you, but do not make the mistake of thinking this is a 'discount card'.

We had bariatric surgery to have a lighter healthier and more positive life. Let's enjoy the company and make it about the evening.

June 28, 2023
Bariatric Recipes Advice, Rants & Support Podcast: Real Talk