Fitness Minutes: (10,195)
398 10/16/13 2:52 P
I agree with the previous posters. So many places now include nutritional info online or on the menu, in some cases. If you can't get the info, my rule of thumb is to ask for a box right away and pack up half of the meal to go. Most restaurants seem to think the caveman cut is a normal portion. I find eating half a restaurant meal is plenty filling. Plus, you'll have leftovers for the next day.
Fitness Minutes: (29,119)
847 10/16/13 2:07 P
As previous posters have said, you can usually find nutritional info for chain restaurants online.
For local ones that aren't chains, I either look for something from a chain restaurant in the tracker that comes close to the dish I'm eating or I break it down into its component parts and enter those in the tracker. If I do that, I add a certain amount of oil or butter to account for how it was almost certainly prepared.
Fitness Minutes: (71,973)
3,080 10/16/13 2:04 P
Often local restaurants will not list exact nutritional information, but you can generally find a menu. You can make your food choices ahead of time and estimate the nutrition by looking up individual ingredients.
Fitness Minutes: (49,619)
1,751 10/16/13 1:48 P
If it's a chain restaurant, I look up their nutrition page online and make my selection BEFORE I go. That way, I'm not tempted by impulses. If you're ordering a salad, be sure to look up the salad dressings too: some of them are really fattening. A good rule of thumb is to ask for the dressing on the side and use about 1 Tbsp. Also, be careful of what you drink. I'm betting that a lot of us are heavy due to our poor beverage choices. I usually order water or plain ice tea.
They have a great list of chain restaurants. They even list the ones who refused to give their data!
Otherwise, you'll be limited to guesstimating by what appears to be on the plate. Avoid the breaded and fried things, or anything based on pasta and rice or rice/beans, or sandwiches. I've had some great meals "deconstructed" - such as a big burger with the regular toppings but sans bun. Sauces are okay. Most of them (hopefully not chock-full of soy!) are pretty healthy. I agree with another poster about the grilled and steamed entrees. You can't always trust salads, though... some of those are more "expensive", nutritionally, than a regular entree!
I will sometimes eat a side salad without a lot of toppings and a clear-ish (or veggie) soup, or an appetizer instead of an entree. That's plenty to fill me up in most instances.
See if the restaurant has a website - some post the nutritional information online. Otherwise, there may not be a way other than to guesstimate. If you stick with salads, grilled meats, steamed veggies, etc. it should be pretty easy to figure. Stay away from foods with fancy sauces such as pastas, breaded and fried foods, etc. Also, once you are there, you can ask the server how the items you are interested in are prepared and don't be afraid to order things the way YOU want them prepared.
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