Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Food and Nutrition
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Dining out - logging nutrition info

PhotographerSuePhotographerSue Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member
Hi everyone, I like to eat out twice a week on the weekends with my son and take a break from cooking. During the week I carefully log nutritional info from packages or menus like Hello Fresh etc., but I find several of the places we go to have no info on either their menus or website. I have no idea how many calories are in a beef dip for example. Maybe 4 oz of meet, but what's the sauce, salad dressing, spread on the bun etc., so I find I don't log anything at all. I'm not a fanatic about logging since I'm not keeping really accurate stats; just using it to see what kind of nutrients I'm getting.

Does anyone else have this issue and what do you do?

Replies

  • PhotographerSuePhotographerSue Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member
    Thank you both for the good tips!
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,136 Member Member Posts: 1,136 Member
    The meat will be 3-4 calories per gram. A baguette the size of a half sandwich has 150 calories more or less. You shouldn't want the sauce unless the meat is awful. And, finally, a dip in broth has so few calories it doesn't matter. Call it 600 calories for a beef dip. Now, if you are in big corn country like DeKalb IL you might double that.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,057 Member Member Posts: 8,057 Member
    One thing I do is ask the server to check with the kitchen. Most places (unless they are really high end) buy things like meat in pre-portioned servings instead of doing their own cutting and you can find out the serving size. If I know that the chicken breast is an average of 8 oz raw weight or the burger is 1/3 lb. I can estimate the rest of the meal fairly well.

    The other thing that is super helpful is weighing everything you eat at home. You get a sense of how weights correspond to size which helps you estimate when eating out or at someone's home.
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,136 Member Member Posts: 1,136 Member
    When I make salmon at home I can guess the weight raw or cooked within 7 grams, confirmed by weight. After 100 or so portions, you get good at it. I still weigh everything.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,938 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,938 Member
    Honestly, the more you cook for yourselves, the better your diet will be. There are very few restaurants that are looking out for your health, they are more often putting extra butter and salt in the food in the hope that you'll like it more and come back.

    One exception around here is Sweetgreen, which sells salads. And, they have become very popular!
  • PhotographerSuePhotographerSue Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member
    Great info, thanks everyone! I like the idea of the food scale too - I have one in the back of the cupboard - time to put it to good use. :)
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,057 Member Member Posts: 8,057 Member
    Great info, thanks everyone! I like the idea of the food scale too - I have one in the back of the cupboard - time to put it to good use. :)

    IMHO the food scale is the most important tool you can use to understand how much you are eating no matter if you are trying to lose, maintain, gain, or improve nutrition

    A few tips:
    • Weigh all solids and semi solids (like peanut butter or mayo).
    • Liquids can be measured but make sure you have liquid measuring cups, not dry. The scale is only accurate for weighing water even if it has a liquid mode.
    • Grams are typically more accurate than ounces but do what you are comfortable with
    • Weigh things like pasta and rice when dry and use a dry weight entry
    • Weigh meat raw and use a raw weight entry, unless you have an accurate way to measure the amount of fat that cooks out.
    • Weigh stuff like meat with bones or fruit with inedible peels, eat, weigh the inedible part and subtract from the original weight.
    • Making something like a sandwich is easy. Put the bread on the scale, weigh and hit tare. Put the meat on the bread, weigh and hit tare. Repeat for other sandwich fixings. Same thing for dishing up dinner. Put a plate on the scale, tare, add parts of the meal one at a time, hitting tare between each one.
    • Cooking soup, stew, casseroles, etc. can be a bit tricky to weigh. Weigh and measure all ingredients and decide how many servings. You can either weigh the finished product (make sure you weighed the empty pan or dish first) and divide by the number of servings or divide the finished dish into servings and weigh each one to make sure they are equal (handy if you are prepping for future use).

    I am sure others have tips they like too.


  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,896 Member Member Posts: 4,896 Member
    It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure these two very simple scale tricks out, so I'll share:

    1)
    Put bowl on scale.
    Tare.
    Add stuff to bowl.
    Log weight of that stuff.
    Tare again.
    Etc.

    2)
    Put container of food on scale.
    Tare.
    Take however much you want to eat out of the container and put it in a different bowl.
    Log the weight that shows as a negative on the scale--that's how much your portion weighs.
  • lokiidokiiartichokiilokiidokiiartichokii Member Posts: 19 Member Member Posts: 19 Member
    I usually estimate or find a close-enough substitute to log. I also opt for healthier options when eating out or split an order of something with my bf (things like nachos or a sandwich - he usually has to end up ordering something else but it keeps my cal count down lol).
  • NicbPNWNicbPNW Member Posts: 47 Member Member Posts: 47 Member
    Honestly, the more you cook for yourselves, the better your diet will be. There are very few restaurants that are looking out for your health, they are more often putting extra butter and salt in the food in the hope that you'll like it more and come back.

    One exception around here is Sweetgreen, which sells salads. And, they have become very popular!

    Well that's no fun!
  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Member Posts: 3,978 Member Member Posts: 3,978 Member
    I just write in the comments section what I ate (for my own information) but I don't bother logging, if the restaurant doesn't provide nutritional information. It's not worthy for me to spend time looking for something similar in the DB, or estimating since I know that it will not be accurate. I do choose healthier options skipping meals that may be loaded with calories.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,057 Member Member Posts: 8,057 Member
    apullum wrote: »
    It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure these two very simple scale tricks out, so I'll share:

    1)
    Put bowl on scale.
    Tare.
    Add stuff to bowl.
    Log weight of that stuff.
    Tare again.
    Etc.

    2)
    Put container of food on scale.
    Tare.
    Take however much you want to eat out of the container and put it in a different bowl.
    Log the weight that shows as a negative on the scale--that's how much your portion weighs.

    Make it easier. Put the bowl on the scale, then turn it on. It will automatically come up at zero so you don't even have to tare it the first time.
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,136 Member Member Posts: 1,136 Member
    Place bottle of (olive oil, mayo, salad dressing, etc.) on scale
    Tare scale
    pour or spoon desired amount into skillet, salad bowl, etc.
    return bottle to scale
    negative value is the amount of olive oil, mayo, salad dressing, etc. used
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,136 Member Member Posts: 1,136 Member
    Weigh rotisserie chicken in bag - record weight
    place chicken on plate
    eat desired amount
    return chicken, bones and parts not eaten to bag
    weigh rotisserie bag
    log difference
  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Member Posts: 3,978 Member Member Posts: 3,978 Member
    Weigh rotisserie chicken in bag - record weight
    place chicken on plate
    eat desired amount
    return chicken, bones and parts not eaten to bag
    weigh rotisserie bag
    log difference

    Dark meat and white chicken meat have different protein and fat contents, and calories count too. This approach is too generic and not accurate.
  • wilson10102018wilson10102018 Member Posts: 1,136 Member Member Posts: 1,136 Member
    Gisel2015 wrote: »
    Weigh rotisserie chicken in bag - record weight
    place chicken on plate
    eat desired amount
    return chicken, bones and parts not eaten to bag
    weigh rotisserie bag
    log difference

    Dark meat and white chicken meat have different protein and fat contents, and calories count too. This approach is too generic and not accurate.

    That's why there is a separate category for rotisserie chicken. Not only is it light and dark, but there is skin and seasoning. Use the blended rate unless you are removing the breasts without skin. Nothing can be more accurate.
Sign In or Register to comment.