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Your Guide to Dining Out with Acid Reflux: Tips for Enjoying Meals Without Discomfort

Are you tired of letting acid reflux control your dining choices while out with family and friends? As a Registered Dietitian specializing in reflux, I understand how frustrating it can be to navigate restaurant menus while dealing with symptoms of acid reflux and/or GERD. But don’t worry-you are not alone in this journey and there are so many habits you can incorporate into your dining experience to manage your reflux symptoms.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss practical tips and strategies to help you dine out with confidence and ease, allowing you to enjoy meals without the discomfort of digestive symptoms. Plus, keep reading to discover a super helpful resource to help you as you plan your meals out!

Tips for Dining Out with Acid Reflux

  1. Don’t show up to the meal starving: Choose a protein and fiber-rich snack to eat beforehand, this will help in prioritizing mindful eating during the meal and eating in a portion that works for you. Some examples could include deli turkey with whole grain crackers and veggies, or greek yogurt with fruit.
  2. Similarly, try not to skip meals during the day: This can prevent overeating while dining out and prevent uncomfortable reflux symptoms later in the day.
  3. Request Modifications: Kindly asking servers to make simple modifications to dishes, such as omitting high-fat sauces or dressings and spicy condiments can help in minimizing reflux symptoms.
  4. Remember that amount is everything: Sharing dishes with family and friends, and pairing these dishes with reflux-friendly side dishes can be a helpful way to manage symptoms and keep triggers in moderation, while also enjoying exciting foods!
  5. Eat slowly and mindfully: Take your time to chew food thoroughly to aid digestion, tap into your hunger and fullness cues, and prevent discomfort later in the day.
  6. Take 10 deep belly breaths: Also known as diaphragmatic breaths, this will help to engage a calm mindset around meals, tone the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent reflux after meal times (1).
  7. Be prepared with an alginate: Even when we make the right choices, it’s always good to have some post-meal backup support. b That’s where RefluxRaft comes in. RefluxRaft is an effective all-natural remedy that creates a protective barrier on top of the stomach contents that stops reflux in its tracks, therefore aiding in post-meal reflux symptoms!

 

Navigating Specific Types of Restaurants

To help navigate specific meal ideas for different types of cuisines and popular restaurants such as Panera Bread and Chipotle, I’ve created your go-to reflux-friendly take out guide! This guide includes even more key strategies for dining out with reflux and examples of reflux-friendly meals from a variety of popular restaurants, grab your copy here!

Dining out with acid reflux doesn't have to be a daunting experience. By incorporating mindful eating practices, making smart food choices, and being prepared with reflux-friendly remedies like RefluxRaft, you can enjoy meals with confidence and ease. Remember, with a little planning and the right strategies, you can savor delicious dining experiences without the discomfort of digestive symptoms.

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Written by Molly Pelletier, MS, RD, LDN | Molly Pelletier is a Registered Dietitian specializing in acid reflux/GERD/LPR, digestive health, and IBS. Molly's background in nutrition science and her personal health journey with GERD culminated in the curation of FLORA Nutrition, where she shares evidence-based tools and strategies to help others recover from reflux and optimize their overall well-being.


Halland M, Bharucha AE, Crowell MD, Ravi K, Katzka DA. Effects of Diaphragmatic Breathing on the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Upright Gastroesophageal Reflux: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116(1):86-94. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000000913