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Logging/losing weight while eating out

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As the title suggests, I'd like some tips of how to best log food eaten out of the home to maintain my calorie deficit. I haven't lost any weight since January so I'm trying to tighten things down. I weigh every single thing at home, including packaged food now and I make sure to use proper entries.

I was going to dedicate June to eating at home so that I could see if I could finally lose weight if I could just weigh everything I ate, but I'm in the process of moving and unfortunately I've been eating meals out this weekend. And since eating out is a part of my life in the long term, I suppose it's just better I learn how to log those meals as best as possible then!

So what do you guys do? How much do you overestimate so you can ideally maintain a deficit but without feeling too hungry or deprived?

(For example, this weekend I'm down the shore and I had wawa sizzli for breakfast (got the lowest cal one), subs for lunch (asked them to go light on the oil, hold the cheese), and Chinese for dinner (crispy orange chicken, and didn't eat the whole container like I used to do, but didn't pay that much attention because I mentally figured I was going over deficit so was just trying to at least stay near maintenance).

(I'm 5'7, 30, 215, need to lose 80 pounds, 1650 is my cal target). (Also I stopped logging on MFP and have switched to Fatsecret as I like that app better but like the boards here.)

Replies

  • baciodolce18
    baciodolce18 Posts: 113 Member
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    Bump?
  • sashayoung72
    sashayoung72 Posts: 441 Member
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    I try to check calories for wherever i'm going to eat out at before I go. I was surprised that a white sub roll had less calories and carbs than the "healthier" version they were pushing. And I had made a "healthier" choice for an ice cream shop to look it up later and find I picked the one with more calories!!! Like dang it! Some of it is eyeballing say a half cup, i try to err on the side of maybe it's smaller. I personally don't eat out anymore other than a bit here and there. Good Luck!
  • chrislee1628
    chrislee1628 Posts: 305 Member
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    problem with eating out is that you don't know the full ingredients and how it was made

    even if you were to say have a curry from one restaurant/takeaway for example and then were to have the same curry from another, due to the difference in ingredients and how it was made would mean that the calories would be different. it could be similar or it could be widely different

    the only thing you can do is guess what the calories is
  • MissusMoon
    MissusMoon Posts: 1,900 Member
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    Often you just have to estimate. I go to yelp or open table and read their menu and look up things. I estimate the amounts of oils, dressings, sauces, everything. The oils are important. I always skip fried food. Some of my favorites I find at restaurants are fish tacos. If it's grilled fish with cabbage and fresh salsa, I'm golden. Same with grilled fish and veggies in general. Most restaurants list the uncooked weight of their steaks in the menu. So I can look it up say "Why yes, I do have enough calories for the 6 oz petit filet mignon if I go with the green salad on the side". Go light, cut your portions in half, make choices (are you craving a sandwich? Great, get that, eat half or more depending on what's in it and skip the fries).
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 5,042 Member
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    I eat out pretty regularly. If possible I look online for the nutrition information. Most chain restaurants have it. I try to stay under my goal unless it is a special occasion and even then I try to make good choices. I will look for something grilled not fried, but when it comes to it I order what I like. If I eat at a local restaurant that doesn't list their nutrition information I find the information for a similar chain and use that. Then I just try to be consistent and use the same entries every time.
  • srecupid
    srecupid Posts: 660 Member
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    Take the closest thing you can find and move on.
  • Shells918
    Shells918 Posts: 1,070 Member
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    As the title suggests, I'd like some tips of how to best log food eaten out of the home to maintain my calorie deficit. I haven't lost any weight since January so I'm trying to tighten things down. I weigh every single thing at home, including packaged food now and I make sure to use proper entries.

    I was going to dedicate June to eating at home so that I could see if I could finally lose weight if I could just weigh everything I ate, but I'm in the process of moving and unfortunately I've been eating meals out this weekend. And since eating out is a part of my life in the long term, I suppose it's just better I learn how to log those meals as best as possible then!

    So what do you guys do? How much do you overestimate so you can ideally maintain a deficit but without feeling too hungry or deprived?

    (For example, this weekend I'm down the shore and wawa sizzli for breakfast (got the lowest cal one), subs for lunch (asked them to go light on the oil, hold the cheese), and Chinese for dinner (crispy orange chicken, and didn't eat the whole container like I used to do, but didn't pay that much attention because I mentally figured I was going over deficit so was just trying to at least stay near maintenance).

    (I'm 5'7, 30, 215, need to lose 80 pounds, 1650 is my cal target). (Also I stopped logging on MFP and have switched to Fatsecret as I like that app better but like the boards here.)

    Wawa sizzli - take off half the English muffin

    Sub- take off half the roll, or go to jersey mikes and get a sub in a tub with no bread

    Chinese- orange chicken is a poor choice. It's battered and fried. You're better off with chicken with snow peas or broccoli in brown sauce preferably on the side, with brown rice.

    If you're going to a deli or diner for breakfast, or even a bagel place you can get egg whites for breakfast or a light veggi omelet.
    Wawa also has salads for lunch.
    Or you can go to a supermarket and get salad bar (making healthy choices) for lunch/dinner.

    If you make better choices it should help considerably.
  • baciodolce18
    baciodolce18 Posts: 113 Member
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    Ok thanks. I'll see how it goes over the next month.

    I've lost weight before even when eating out so I don't know what's so different this time around. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • FrattyAzN
    FrattyAzN Posts: 5 Member
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    When you eat out kitchens are usually pretty precise with their portions as they have to log how much of everything they have and calculate costs. Many places have nutritional information online and you just need to ask. Things like chicken don't vary as far as calories and what macros make it up. You can always ask for anything you get to be cooked with no oil or butter. Also bring a portable scale to weigh out your portion. When you get into grains it is more difficult but that is where you can bring in your own bun or tortillas where you know and can track the macros and calories. A little research will go a long ways. If you have any more questions about it feel free to message me.
  • MotherShabubu
    MotherShabubu Posts: 10 Member
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    If I know that I'm going out for dinner or something, I usually just eat a light breakfast/lunch, and then I pick something reasonably healthy off the menu. I don't choose deep-fried foods, but I do consider eating out to be a treat, so I won't normally order grilled fish and salad, as that's what I would have at home. I don't have a problem choosing something substantial like a grilled chicken burger and some chips. Then I normally skip the dessert, and I don't track my dinner. I've always done that and have never had trouble losing weight in the past.
  • ShrinkinMel
    ShrinkinMel Posts: 982 Member
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    Yeah I check before I go if possible. Sometimes it's a random spur of the moment decision and not always possible though. It also helps to plan out the rest of my day accordingly so I can stay on plan. If you mess up that one meal just keep going back on plan at the next one. It will level out and you will get better at planning for it.