Tracking Macros: A Practical Approach to Thoughtful Eating Out

Tracking Macros While Eating Out

You’re finally getting the hang of counting macros and now the situation arises, along with a wee bit of nervousness, that you’re going to eat out. What are a few things you can do to make sure you’re staying on track? For starters, take a deep breath. 

  1. Use your phone & research the menu,
  2. Hand references for food portions,
  3. Eat your PROTEIN (how much makes you feel fuller?),
  4. Sauces & Oils,
  5. Water, ALWAYS,
  6. Perfection is not where it’s at (see what you can achieve, you can always hit your macros even late at night!) 

Track Your Macros

Tracking your macros while eating out is nothing to sweat! Any instance to where you’re challenged to eat great food while staying on track is an amazing opportunity! So why not take advantage of it!?

Counting Macros - The Easiest Approach

Use the computer in your hand and research the restaurant you’re going to chow down at.  You literally have it in the palms of your hands to look at your options. More and more restaurants are adding nutritional information on their website by the day. As society becomes more conscious of what we eat so are businesses, and they’re catering to YOU. If you’re not willing to do 5-10 minutes of research you’re not being realistic.

Log the meal you’re looking to demolish into MFP before you arrive and see how it works with your P, C, & F, adjust as such. Over your carbs? Cool, use them for your next workout. Over fats? Avoid eating those last few bites of carbs. Over on protein? The more the merrier.

Your Hands will Come in Handy

Your hands are a “handy” & helpful tool to measure your macro portions. 

  • 1 serving of fats can be the size of the tip of your thumb/finger (thumb bulking/finger deficit) 
  • 1 serving of protein can allot to the size of your palm (excluding fingers). 
  • 1 fist can be used for a serving of carbs (veggies, you can typically eat more veggies due to their low macro/caloric intake & high volume)
  • 1 scooped hand can count for a serving of carbs (other than veggies)

When in Doubt, ask for Extra Protein

extra protein

  • Even if 5% of you is thinking that you’re low on macros, just ask for more. You can take the leftovers home & use it for your next meal/snack. It helps you feel fuller and less of a chance of overeating carbs & fats.

Sauces & Oils can be the Biggest Conundrum when Eating Out

  • Ask for sauces, dressing, butter, oils on the side. It’s not gonna hurt them.
  • Request for your food to be cooked with less oil than they would usually use. Whether they do it or not, it at least makes the cook/waitress conscious of how much they’re using.
  • If you’re super concerned, ask for your food to be steamed (rice, veggies, fish).

Check for Sodium

More than likely the food you’re about to eat is going to have a large amount of sodium.

  • Even if you typically have a high sodium diet, it’s best to drink more than you usually do. It’ll flush the excess sodium from your kidneys, give them a break, & you’ll be able to pee it out WEE.
  • Order water & sip off of your friend’s diet soda or order a kid’s size refreshment. Enjoy the moment but limit your self from high caloric/sugary drinks.

Perfection is NOT Where it’s at

  • Use it as a test. See how close you can get to your macros and after dinner see where you could have improved after.
  • Realize that it’s ONE day out of 365! If you blow it a little don’t beat yourself up, that will only set you back. Move on the next day and HIT EM’!

(Guest post by Savannah)

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