Three Essential Tips for Logging Macros When Eating Out

Three Essential Tips for Logging Macros When Eating Out

Flexible dieting and tracking macros allows you the benefit of being in control of any potential situation. Sure, it’s easier to track macros in the comfort of your own routine, but life does it’s thing and throws curve balls. Whether you’re on a vacation or at an event where there is “mystery food”, you are faced with the conflict of how to track your food accurately and still reach your goals. Considering a number of variables that are present, it will be impossible to track your macros to absolute accuracy, but this is okay. It’s better to work logging into your lifestyle, as opposed to using logging as a barrier to be restrictive and unrealistic with how you live your life. This article will provide solutions to show you that even under these circumstances, you can still do your best and not be deterred from your path to success.

Here are three tips to help you become a pro-logger when leaving the confines of your own kitchen!

1) Be proactive, not reactive

A lot of people develop the bad habit of logging their food after they eat it.  This is problematic seeing that you can’t take food out of your body once it’ put in. It’s better to know the exact parameters of food you need to hit your macronutrient goals. The majority of the time you can find food information at restaurants online. If not, then the number two tip is for you.



2) Guestimate

Sometimes a food's nutritional information isn’t listed. In this circumstance, guestimation becomes your best friend. The best way to guesstimate is to use similar restaurants that sell similar foods as a reference point for your dish. For instance, I use Swiss Chalet fries as a milestone for all local fries servings (I’m far too comfortable with the serving size of Swiss Chalet fries). If there appears to be more oil, I will custom log more fat. If the portion is bigger, I will log 1_ servings of Swiss Chalet. If the serving is smaller, well you get the point!

It doesn’t stop there, however, when push comes to shove we’re going to want to try to “under log”. This is dangerous to no one but yourself because it’s your results that are on the line. The best practice is to “over log” or be generous and go one size above the serving size you feel is correct. If you’ve finished your macros and unbelievably hungry at the end of the day, that is the best sign that maybe you over logged a bit too much and then you can therefore adjust.

When foods are made up of multiple items (i.e. a homemade burger) start by trying to guess the serving size of each ingredient and logging it item by item).

3) Understand the power of fasting

Any circumstance while eating out is usually going to be an expensive one. Not in the sense of money (although potentially that as well), but mainly in the regard of calories, fats, and carbs. Most commonly friends don’t go out for salads and chicken breasts. Well, not my friends that’s for sure, and I hang out with “fitness people”. usually going out with friends means fun/delicious restaurant foods. This is okay, it’s just expensive. You have a budget (your macro nutrient allowance I.E 3000 calories) so stick to it and be prepared to plan accordingly. If you know you’re going out for dinner at a place that is known for its famous tacos – take the time to look up what you’re going to order and learn the amount of calories the item consists of. If you want to eat 2000 calories of tacos, be prepared to save 2000 calories for that time. Sadly, this is usually dinner time. This means that in order to best save the calories, perhaps fast past breakfast then have a 1000 calorie high protein lunch. Now by doing this you are free to enjoy a massive and delicious dinner. This takes discipline, but is significantly better than eating 2000 calories like normal, then partaking in a taco fiesta, only to exceed your caloric intake by 1000 calories.

Past the understanding of caloric budget, there is also nutrient budget. Usually, when eating out, foods are higher in fats and carb content. I recommend “protein fasting” early in the day. Perhaps start your day with the first meal of two scoops of protein, followed by a high protein lunch to leave a significant amount of “fun macros” for later.

Now go out and take on the real world with your flawless logging knowledge!