Eating out can be tricky because it is impossible to know the exact macros of a particular dish since you don't have access to weighing or measuring it. Most restaurant dishes also add more fats for taste, than we normally would at home. For the best results on the program, we recommend making your own meals. But we understand that never eating out isn’t really feasible either.
That being said, estimating is better than nothing. Try doing some research and looking up the menu ahead of time. Most large restaurants make their nutrition information available online. You can input these macros using the Custom Food button. If there’s no nutrition facts online, what you can do is select your preferred dish from the menu and input the ingredients individually while estimating the serving and portion sizes to the best of your ability. As a rule of thumb, meats are usually served around 6 ounces raw, and carb portions like rice or potatoes tend to be double a "regular" serving size, like 1 cup of rice instead of the typical ½ cup. Having drinks with dinner? Watch our video on how to calculate alcohol to track in your planner!
Some other tips you can follow the day of your outing, is to eat filling meals beforehand with plenty of vegetables and lean protein. You’ll feel less hungry but you’ll have plenty of carbs and fats to spare, while ensuring you're meeting your protein number. When you’re at the restaurant, try to avoid appetizers, drink plenty of water, tea, or diet soda, and control your portions. Avoid obvious culprit foods like cream-based sauces or fried foods and opt for things that are baked, steamed, or roasted.
Lastly, don’t stress too much! You’re doing your best to balance eating out and staying on your plan and that’s the first step in developing healthier habits. You can use our StaxKit Guide to Dining Out and Restaurant Cheat Sheet!