I have the Calorie King book - and it has a section for 'restaurants' that is just general calorie information for certain food types (ie Japanese, French, Pancake House, Carnival) that helps give a guide. Keep in mind that this is the average of a few sources, so it's probably somewhere in the middle in terms of reliability.
I go with the 'close enough, good enough' theory. Tracking is all educated guessing anyways, and with most things it won't be far off.
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When I go to eat, I try my best to email, the chain. to get the infro. The best part i like is the my sister owns a small ma and pa cafe, and i can get the infro my getting name of the food. like chicken strips, and the cheese balls, has the infro on the bag so i took the bag. when it was empty. etc.
I just try to find something similar in the food list and use it instead. I also try to stay under my targeted calories in case what I'm eating was actually more calories than the one I used in my log.
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I'd use the nutritional information for a similar chain restaurant. For example, I'd use Benihana to track a sushi dinner.
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I try to stay away from those types of restaurants because of how they cook things...hidden fats and calories in the sauces...but I suppose you could stick to a chicken dish, estimate how much chicken, have veggies and some rice. If your doing the hibachi you could ask them to eliminate the sauces and ask for it to be cooked in little or no added oil. They pretty much cook to order on those things anyway. You could also opt for fish or shrimp.
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I try to find a similar meal listed in the nutrional section and hope it's close. Unfortunately there's no easy way to track it (and local restaurants are always so much better than chains).
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