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How Do You Track Food at Restaurants?

blog Oct 21, 2023

How to Track Food at Restaurants

Eating out at restaurants can be both a delightful and challenging experience, especially if you're trying to stick to a specific nutrition plan or tracking your food intake. In this blog post, we'll explore some effective strategies to help you navigate food tracking at restaurants without compromising your goals.

  1. Pre-planning for Success

One of the best ways to stay on track while dining out is to plan ahead. If you know you'll be eating at a particular restaurant, take some time to look up the menu beforehand. This allows you to go in with a game plan and pre-track your meal in your favorite tracking app. Be sure to leave some extra calories in your daily budget to account for any unexpected additions like cooking oils, butters, or sauces that may add up quickly.

  1. Build Food Awareness

Tracking your food intake at home using a food scale helps build awareness of portion sizes and the calorie content of different foods. This practice will make it easier to estimate portion sizes and track your intake accurately when you don't have access to a food scale at a restaurant or someone else's home.

  1. Choose Simple Dishes with Visible Ingredients

When dining out, opt for dishes with straightforward ingredients that you can see on your plate. Choosing meals like grilled proteins, salads with dressing on the side, or dishes with easily identifiable components simplifies tracking. Avoid complex dishes or those with hidden ingredients that might make tracking more challenging.

  1. Don't Hesitate to Ask Questions and Make Modifications

Never be afraid to ask questions or make modifications to your order to align it with your nutritional goals. Requesting dressings, sauces, or other calorie-dense items on the side allows you to control the amount you use. You can even politely inquire about specific ingredients or ask for minimal oil or butter in your dishes.

  1. Order Last and Be Specific with Requests

If you're dining out with a group and feel self-conscious about making adjustments to your order, wait for everyone else to order first. Order last and confidently make any necessary modifications or requests to ensure your meal aligns with your goals.

  1. Be Polite and Assertive

When asking for modifications or inquiring about ingredients, be polite and assertive. If necessary, you can use a white lie to ensure your meal meets your dietary needs. For instance, stating that you have an allergy to a specific ingredient might prompt the kitchen to be more cautious with your order.


Tracking your food intake at restaurants doesn't have to be a stressful experience. By pre-planning your meals, building food awareness, and making specific requests when ordering, you can enjoy dining out without compromising your nutrition goals. Remember, it's your health and well-being that matter, so take control of your dining experience, and don't hesitate to ask for what you need. With these tips and tricks, you'll be well-equipped to stay on track and make healthier choices whenever you eat out. Happy dining!

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