What do you do when you can't know exactly what's in something your eating?

Hey everyone. This app has helped so much with my binge eating. I just hate when I eat something somewhere and don't have enough info to log it.


  • SpinforCals
    SpinforCals Posts: 112 Member
    Do the best you can is my advice
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,615 Member
    Estimate and try to aim a little high based on the info I have (not selecting the lowest option available in the database) and get on with life. your deficit provides a cushion and it's just not a huge deal when it happens once in a while.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 1,158 Member
    Agreed with both replies above. I don't have to let food logging stop me from occasional eating out or accepting an invitation to dinner with friends. :) If it's a frequent occurrence I would probably stick to foods I could reasonably expect to be low calorie or certain to fit in my budget. But once in a while, if I'm off by even a few hundred it really won't matter.
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    You just do your best.

    For example, you may not be exactly sure what's in the Chef salad at the restaurant you're eating at. (Salads range WIDELY in calorie count!) But you do your best, probably choosing something mid-range or high. (Restaurants typically have high calorie counts.)

    Success comes from consistency, not from perfection.

    Also, if you're dealing with an ED it's very tempting to fall into black/white, I'm perfect/ I'm the worst thinking which can send you down the path of unhealthy coping mechanisms. So log more to be aware than necessarily weight loss.
  • Sofia_Aleman
    Sofia_Aleman Posts: 17 Member
    1. I sometimes take a picture and try to estimate the calories for the individual ingredients later.
    2. I try to pick an item from the database that I've tried and know is similar.
    3. If I simply have no clue at all, I just Quick Add 500 calories for it.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    If the menu has calorie counts listed, I'll Quick Add that many and just choose to trust that the kitchen is following corporate serving size and recipe guidelines. I'll also try to check the nutrition info from the restaurant's website in advance and check that against the MFP database, if it's a chain that MFP has entries for, because I know no one's updating that ish.

    If it's a dish with discrete components that are more or less the same everywhere (e.g., eggs Benedict is pretty consistent across all the restaurants I go to that serve it), I find entries for the components and guesstimate quantities as best I can.

    If it's an indie place/not a national chain, I'll find entries for a national chain that closely approximate the food served and pick the higher-calorie options to err on the side of overestimating.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,415 Member
    I’ll look at menus before I go. Most have photos or pretty clear descriptions. I figure most restaurant chicken dishes have about 8oz chicken in them, so I try to log in advance based on the description +8 oz, and add anything else I didn’t include on the fly while i’m there.

    I find that taking the time to enter in advance also prevents me from that last minute desire to order something richer on the menu, or go for a “daily special”, which is usually calorie laden.

    I’ve also started looking for different dishes at familiar restaurants. My fave Mexican restaurant does a mango habanero grilled chicken with a serving of rice and a basic salad on the side. The whole dish comes out to (an estimated) 600 calories or so. If I get a grilled mango chicken salad there with dressing on the side, it delicious and filling and comes to less than 400 calories.

    I also ask for a bowl of sliced bell peppers in lieu of chips for dipping in salsa. I’ll still have a few chips, but it keeps me from downing the whole bowl.
  • LisaGetsMoving
    LisaGetsMoving Posts: 664 Member
    I try and overestimate and just enter flat calorie count. Don't know if I'm even close, so I also try not to get into a situation where I can't get a calorie count or list of ingredients.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,286 Member
    Ask ➡️ Estimate ➡️ Enter