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Eating out

fdlewensteinfdlewenstein Posts: 169Member Member Posts: 169Member Member
What do you do when you are eating out and can find no nutritional information? Some small restaurants do not provide anything and many times no one can tell you specifics about the food you are eating.


  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,504Member Member Posts: 9,504Member Member
    I asked the waiter, and he gave me an answer that was obviously not right / what I wanted to hear.

    You basically have to estimate.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 6,964Member, Premium Member Posts: 6,964Member, Premium Member
    You find similar entries in the database and enter into your diary as best you can.
    edited December 2019
  • fdlewensteinfdlewenstein Posts: 169Member Member Posts: 169Member Member
    I've found similar entires in the database in the past, but I worry they will not be accurate. I'm still struggling with understanding how my body responds to food. I have about 55 pounds to my goal. I'm so cautious about having a setback.
  • Justin_7272Justin_7272 Posts: 211Member Member Posts: 211Member Member
    I try to find a restaurant that has a similar food item and lists nutrition, then compare and tweak as best as possible.
  • erjones11erjones11 Posts: 306Member Member Posts: 306Member Member
    Most of the places we go have calories on the menu or in MFP. If they don't I guess based on somethings similar or a similar dish from a chain restaurant. If I really can't figure it out I have a diet coke and eat later.
  • ShortgirlrunningShortgirlrunning Posts: 509Member Member Posts: 509Member Member
    Like PPs have suggested, I just find a similar item from a different restaurant and log that. I don’t eat out often enough for the inaccuracy to matter.

    Yes, accuracy is important but in life it’s not always going to be possible. This is a life-long change you’re making so you gotta learn some flexibility and realize that sometimes there’s not a perfectly accurate way to measure so you just have to take the next best option. Assuming you aren’t eating out a ton, not having a perfectly accurate entry in your food log isn’t going to set you back.
  • LietchiLietchi Posts: 261Member Member Posts: 261Member Member
    I choose a meal based on:
    - how easily I will be able to log it (not too many different ingredients or food that is hard to identify/hard to guess the ingredients) - I try to find similar dishes in the database or 'assemble' it myself by entering the ingredients seperately
    - how calorific I think it will be (especially when it's in the evening, if it's lunch I still have room to adapt the rest of my meals)
    - and of course, what pleases me taste-wise - if I'm going to a restaurant, I want to enjoy it
  • gemiller87gemiller87 Posts: 134Member, Premium Member Posts: 134Member, Premium Member
    I just find the closest thing or pick through ingredients if it's a simpler dish. Just remember you won't be in weight loss forever, so find a program that you can stick to when you get to your goal!
  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Posts: 3,059Member Member Posts: 3,059Member Member
    I enter a brief description of what I ate in the comments section of my diary but I don't log it.

    It is not worthy for me to spend time looking for something similar in the database, dissecting the meal, or estimating when I know that it will not be accurate. Beside, I don't want to have in my recent list entries that I probably will never use again and that can not be deleted.

    My approach worked while losing so I am not about to change it on maintenance.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 37,530Member Member Posts: 37,530Member Member
    What do you do when you are eating out and can find no nutritional information? Some small restaurants do not provide anything and many times no one can tell you specifics about the food you are eating.

    Most of the time I just didn't log it. I didn't and don't eat out all that often and when I do it's generally a local restaurant that isn't going to provide nutritional information. Eating out for me at a nice local restaurant is/was something special and frankly couldn't be bothered to ruin my nice evening out doing a bunch of hand wringing and trying to dissect what was on my plate in order to log it.

    If we pop out for lunch or something on a weekend it's usually something like Jason's Deli or Panera or Sweet Tomatoes, etc which provides nutritional information, so that was never really an issue...but a nice evening out with my wife or with friends at a nice local place, I couldn't be bothered.
  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Posts: 1,300Member Member Posts: 1,300Member Member
    Another tactic: Really take care in monitoring your portion sizes. While you can't weigh it, you can use some approximations that can serve you well. (A portion of meal is about the size of a deck of cards, for example.)

    It's totally OK to order an appetizer for a meal. Often the size is actually more appropriate for an entirely lunch. (Note: not the French Fries, silly.)

    If at all possible, reserve half for a doggie bag for lunch tomorrow. Sometimes the real problem isn't the food itself as much as the oversized portions.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 14,621Member Member Posts: 14,621Member Member
    What do you do when you are eating out and can find no nutritional information? Some small restaurants do not provide anything and many times no one can tell you specifics about the food you are eating.

    I try to find a similar dish at a chain restaurant. The cool thing is, if you spend some time using the food scale and logging diligently, over time you get better at guesstimating. So after lots of weighing and logging history, now I'll kind of mentally deconstruct the meal, log the components as a guesstimate, then find a chain restaurant meal that's similar and compare notes. But it's all really a guess, and you do the best that you can. Remember that restaurant food usually tastes so good because they use more oil or butter than you'd expect! If you eat at small restaurants often, you'll have to keep tweaking your approach if you find you're not losing weight as expected. If it's a rare thing, it's not that big a deal one way or the other anyway :drinker:
  • tcunbelievertcunbeliever Posts: 7,619Member Member Posts: 7,619Member Member
    I usually stick with something I know I can log...a steak is a steak no matter where you are (assuming there is not some kind of crazy sauce on it)...chicken is chicken...salmon is salmon...I don't often get meals out that are anything other than meat and veg, which makes logging simpler.
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