anyone else having problems with portion counting in restaurants?

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Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 00:36
As a new comer to this site, i am amazed by the ambudance of tools to make our lives easier and logging foods fast as lightning. still one problem remains...

how do you measure foods when not in your home? if, where at home you have doubts, you can very easily measure or weight something and get an idea? what happens though when in a restaurant? for instance i was in a bar yesterday and me and some friends shared a cheese and fruit platter. i was having trouble remembering what i ate, and estimating the size of the portions! i cant even begin to imagine what happens when you have a normal dinner in a restaurant...

any indeas how to overcome this? has anyone faced a similar problem?

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 23

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 00:46
When you get used to what certain foods feel and look like after measured at home, you will have a better idea when you go out. Anytime that I am going out, I preview the menu and decide ahead of time what I am going to eat, look it up, log it and stick to my plan. I even include apps and drinks. If you can't look up a menu, then stick to lean meats, veggies, naked wings with sauce on the side, salads with grilled meat, clams or mussels. And just eat until you are comfortable or immediately cut your meal in half and box the other half to go. Just watch out for hidden sugars and starches. It does get easier the more you practice it!

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 27

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 00:46
I have the same problem.....Restaurants here usually have big servings and I kinda feel bad if I don't finish the food because it feels as if I'm wasting money...What I do is I try to just order salads or sandwiches when eating out so that I'll at least have some idea regarding that calories I'm taking in....

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 76

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 00:48
ask for the nutrition guide- or use the app on your cell i find alot of resturants are in there...
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” ~ Woody Allen

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 674

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 00:55
After a couple of months of measuring your food you will be able to guesstimate weight of most of the food items you eat regularly. Try to remember the volume and compare it with something that is always with you like your hand, or something familiar like match box. Then try to find smith similar in the food list. I usually round up, just in case. Then relax, it is not that important if you did not figure out the exact amount of calories. What is more important, is that you are less likely to eat 15 slices of pizza, if you know that you have to log it later. It is more about self control and accountability, than exact number of calories. At least that is my point of view.
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 01:12
Practice measuring portions!

Don't just put food on a scale or in a measuring cup. Instead, measure out what you think the right amount is, and then see how close you got. If you do this often enough, you'll get really good at recognizing what an ounce of cheese or three ounces of meat looks like.

Remember, though, it's not the end of the world if you guess wrong. If you're at least moderately close, that's good enough. Even if you're massively off, that won't hurt you much if you don't do it very often.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 01:13
Also, I completely suck at measuring any sort of small plates meal-- tapas, sushi, dim sum, etc. I've given up on it, and now I just try not to be insanely stupid.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 107

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 01:22
There are a lot of "rules of thumb" too for portioning. I have a flyer and a pamphlet on this.

Rice/Pasta = Half a baseball
Baked Potato = Adult Fist
1 cup fruit = Baseball sized
tablespoon peanut butter = ping pong ball
3 oz meat = deck of cards
3 oz fish = checkbook sized
1 cup cereal = adult fist.

I got this from a handout the Navy gave me. Its from a company called positive promotions, which sells them.

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 06:44
Wow!!! thank you all for you responses and support, i ll have to study, learn some of these tricks by heart and as you say, practice...
good luck to you all!!

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 240

Posted: 02 Feb 2012, 06:59
Just thought I'd mention this, in response to oaba09's post - you're right, restaurants have large "servings" - so another thing to do is order something that you can easily re-heat at home. And depending on just how much they do serve, only eat half or a third of it in the restaurant and take the rest home.

This only works, of course, providing you can "safely" get it home -- for instance it's summer time; you're out to lunch, but the the saved portion has to sit in your hot car until you get home - ? Probably not a good idea. :- )

Another thing to do is to ask for the "to-go" container at the time they serve you - or even before. That way, you can portion out the amount you want to eat right away. Less tempting if it all stays on your plate.

I agree with what all have said, here - but I try to do the same as koffeebean7 - when I have the opportunity to do so ahead of time, look up the NI and choose what fits into my plan for that day. Then - stick to it. Or really try to. :- )

And best advice from Hoser - don't stress and try not to be insanely stupid - there are cetain foods/dishes that I continue to struggle with that. ~grin~

Good luck! Joyce
"Diet" is a four-letter word.
"You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr.


Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 9

Posted: 04 Feb 2012, 10:35
If I go to a restaurant I look it up on the computer before I go so I can plan out what I can have and how I am going to order it. That saves me time in advance. I can just say "I would like the 8oz chicken breast grilled with no butter and can you cut it in half, box it up and bring it to me that way and yeah, no croutons or cheese on the salad and no dressing (I take my own fat free cheese and dressing with me.)

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,223

Posted: 04 Feb 2012, 11:26
I usually try to order something w/ plain veggies - not in any high calorie sauces and then I try to get some type of protein - grilled or baked. I skip the bread, potatoes, and starches if at all possible. I just figure there are so many extra calories in the starches and since I don't know exactly how many calories are in the others. I prefer to plan ahead though - if I know where I am going, I will try to find nutrition info online. Otherwise, I just have to wing it, but it is easier if I know what i am going to order ahead of time. That helps avoid temptation of ordering something higher calorie.

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 3

Posted: 04 Feb 2012, 11:40
It was probably mentioned in here somewhere but when you go to "add food" on your account just look up the place your going(or at) and most are already on fatsecret if its a chain restaurant. I can usually find it, in fact it often helps me decide what I want to eat and/or what I'm allowed to stay within my goal for the day.

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