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8HEATHER Posts: 63
4/12/13 7:09 P

Pretty much the same as everyone said. I also try to order something easy to track. For example the other day I ordered a salmon filet and two sides of asparagus instead of the potato. I also added a tablespoon of butter because I could tell there was butter on the salmon. It will be awhile before I order a heavily sauced entree I just think it is impossible to track if there is no info available. The other thing I've noticed is I can almost judge the number of calories by how full I feel anything over 500 or 600 calories and I feel too full within about 30 minutes. I know this doesn't help track really but I'm not going to log 300 cals if I feel stuffed I know it's likely more like 700.

Edited by: 8HEATHER at: 4/12/2013 (19:13)
4/12/13 5:15 P

Guess on what the foods are and I always overshoot (or at least I think that I do) in that the way resturants make foods they are always more calories and fat then how you would make it at home.

F1TFOREVER SparkPoints: (3,575)
Fitness Minutes: (556)
Posts: 95
4/12/13 10:55 A

I estimate and save about 800-1000 calories and just make sure to portion control

4/12/13 8:18 A

I either estimate or, as Deb suggests below, sometimes just skip it. It's important to me to incorporate weight-loss and weight-control into my everyday life, which means being able to go out to eat once in awhile and enjoy myself and not think about calories. Then I get back with the program and life goes on.

4/11/13 9:04 P

Thanks for the suggestions. It's usually when I go to a deli or small corner store type place that it is hard to track. I just guess the ounces of grilled chicken or whatever it is I order.

REGINA_PHALANGE SparkPoints: (17,659)
Fitness Minutes: (5,689)
Posts: 681
4/11/13 4:53 P

Another thing that I do that hasn't exactly been mentioned is track the same (or similar) menu item from a corporate restaurant. For example, I had a shrimp burger last weekend, and finding calorie info for that was pretty difficult. I ended up just tracking it as a crab cake from Red Lobster, because a) that's what it tasted like and the size was similar and b) I figured it was equally unhealthy.

Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Applebee's, TGIFriday's, P.F. Chang's, I think they're all pretty generic menus to serve as "guesstimate" backups. If anything, they probably have worse nutrition than what you're actually eating, and in my opinion it's better to err on the side of caution and overestimate a bit anyway.

CILER11 Posts: 265
4/11/13 3:08 P

Most of the resturants in my area are chains, but if I can't find it I use something similar.

4/11/13 1:01 P

I plug things into the recipe calculator to at least get an idea of the calorie range.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
4/11/13 12:45 P

I guesstimate if there is no nutrition info available. I will find a similar restaurant and use their information.

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
Fitness Minutes: (4,601)
Posts: 577
4/11/13 11:29 A


This is where knowing what a portion should look like comes in handy.

Know how much a portion of X is supposed to look like and you know that's roughly XXX calories.

It can work for pasta, rice, fries, meat's, fish, bread, etc...

All you have to do is use your hand to get a good idea of the portion size of most things.

Restaurants will cook with oils, butter and salt so keep that in mind too.

It will at least keep you mindful of dealing with the oversized portions you'll get. If at all possible, ask to have things prepared differently or make food substitutions depending on what type of restaurant you go to.

JENSTRESS Posts: 5,403
4/11/13 10:12 A

Much like a previous poster, I guesstimate based on what naother restaurant may list a similar dish at. And then stay at my low end.

However, SP has some great resources that really help this to be a slightly easier decision. If you check out the nutrition articles, and learn about what foods are better (some surprisingly) for you, then you will likely be able to choose whether the nutrition info is right in front of you or not. Sure, restaurants use hidden oils or butters, but then, like another poster said, if this isn't a daily occurence, you are likely just fine if you don't track perfectly 2 meals a month.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,314
4/11/13 9:45 A

I have a petite Filet Mignon with a Vinegar & oil. Salad and veggies. Other choices include Shrimp Scampi, a pork chop (which is around 200 calories) with veggies. No bread, no potato unless a sweet potato is a choice.

Mussels in Marina Sauce, a Stir fry...just some ideas

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
4/11/13 8:03 A

as others have said, be as accurate as you can be, by guessing the ingredients, or finding something quite similar (even at another chain - look online at a comparable option from there for info)

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
4/11/13 12:51 A

That's all you can do. That, or skip it. How often do you eat out? Say twice a month? What really would be the absolute worst result of simpy not tracking two meals a month?

You don't have to be perfect. You have to be 90% right, 90% of the time. :)

4/10/13 11:33 P

Thanks. I have just been guesstimating by breaking it down and just assuming the weights and measures as best I can.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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Posts: 4,787
4/10/13 11:12 P

I do pretty much the same thing as the previous posters.

Remember: It is not an exact science. The labels on food are estimates -- not firm 100% perfect numbers. The same can be said for things like fruits and vegetables. It's all based on estimates and averages anyway.

The advantage of tracking you food intake is not the "perfect" information that can guarantee you anything. The advantage is that it gets you to pay attention to what you are eating and to help you identify patterns and trends that you might be able to alter if needed. When you think of it that way, you see there is no need to agonize over the accuracy of every calorie and gram. Just the best you can consistently and it will help you.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
4/10/13 11:01 P

I do more or less the same as the previous poster.

I try and guesstimate by comparing the food I am served to "how they make it at X Restaurant" or "how I make it at home"... and/or I break down the dinner into its smaller parts - how many cups of pasta do i figure are on this plate? how many cups of sauce? how many ounces of meat?

It's not a perfect measure, but, unless I'm eating out regularly, it doesn't much matter if i'm a little over or under the actual amounts.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
4/10/13 10:46 P

If it's a chain, I can usually find the nutritional info online. If it's not, I use the closest match available in the tracker here. I make sure to track every aspect of a dish, including my best guess at sauces, butter/oils used in cooking, etc. And I try to keep my calories for that day at the low end of my range, to give me some wiggle room.

4/10/13 10:33 P

What do you do when eating out and there is no nutritional information available?

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