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KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
Posts: 1,053
5/31/13 9:59 A

Estimate as best you can, and like you did, choose something healthy and be proud of yourself for enjoying the company and not just the indulgent food. Suddenly with my job it looks like I'll be eating out every meal for about 4 days each week with travel....

Anyway, option 1 is to find something comparable at a small diner that is at a chain. Like if I go to a local steakhouse, I can order something and then track it as an 8 oz sirloin from Timberlodge steakhouse since likely they are prepared in a similar fashion

Option 2 is to log the ingredients. I did this last time I went to Perkins. Logged in 3 large eggs, 2 strips bacon (better than sausage), 2 big slices wheat toast (should have only eaten one, but got bored lol). then I added a tablespoon of vegetable oil since I'm certain they fry their eggs. I always add a Tablespoon or two of oil or butter when I eat out to whatever it is I think in my meal.

JENSTRESS Posts: 5,403
5/31/13 9:19 A

Like everyone else, estimating is the way to go. Because most local restaurants even if the nutrition information isn't available, still have comprable items that chains have, you can really go from there. The other things to really consider is portion control and making smart choices. This doesn't necessarily mean having a salad instead of a burger, but watching the cream sauces, bisques and all that to eat. Also, chew and eat slowly, paying attention to your body's "I'm full" cues. That way you should be okay!

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
5/31/13 8:50 A

I, too, estimate as well as I can, by breaking down the ingredients, or finding a similar item/recipe in the database

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
5/30/13 11:47 P

Unfortunately, many of the non-chain restaurants do not give any kind of nutritional info, partially because they don't have to by law, and partially because the cooks don't actually measure anything while they're cooking! There's no nefarious plan to keep anyone from eating out, it's just really expensive for restaurants to get the nutrition info tested, and difficult for them to maintain their quantities from cook to cook.

What I do is take my best guess at it, either by using a comparable chain-restaurant item, or by using the recipe builder and re-creating the meal as best I can. For example, tonight I went to a local Italian restaurant and ordered the veal medallions with scallops, asparagus, gorgonzola, and lemon wine curry sauce, with whole wheat fetuccini and marinara sauce as the side. I went in to the recipe builder and put in my best estimations on the quantities of each of the base items, with a guess that using an alfredo sauce entry would be relatively close to the curry sauce. I only ate half the veal/scallops/gorgonzola, and just dipped in the sauce (so, maybe a couple of tablespoons max), and had ordered the marinara sauce on the side as well so know I only used 1/4 cup of that. I created a recipe for the entire meal, with a "makeover" recipe for the leftovers.

I'm sitting at the middle of my calorie range for the day, so don't plan on getting my knickers in a twist if I'm actually off by 100 calories or so either way. Really, we're looking at best guesses on even the labelled items (there is an amazing amount of leeway allowed by law), so I just do the best I can and don't sweat it.

Hope this helps!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
Fitness Minutes: (69,867)
Posts: 3,526
5/30/13 11:37 P

Here is what I do when I go to a non-chain kind of place...

I break it down and estimate as best as I can using visual representations ( 3oz meat = deck of cards and so on)

For example - if I have spaghetti and meatballs w/ salad and garlic bread, I will either look for a chain restaurant with a similar item, or I will break it down and estimate (high)

it isn't going to be 100% but it will be close enough.

Then you can "save" the grouping of foods in your tracker, so if you eat at that place again, you can log it with one click.

GIARRUJD SparkPoints: (20)
Fitness Minutes: (1,873)
Posts: 15
5/30/13 11:11 P

It seems to me that site like this all are pretty similar when it comes to dinning out. Fast food chains and restaurants chains are all registered but when it comes to a "regular" diner or restaurant, I am in the dark. I sense the purpose maybe to deter eating out a lot but there are moments when it is a must. For example, I went to a dinner called schnippers in the city and I could not accurately log my lunch. I had a turkey burger on a whole wheat roll. I did my best with what is available. What suggestions could you give me, in case I am in this issue again.

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