If you are anything like us, you enjoy going out to a good restaurant on the weekends, trying new foods, and you enjoy the fellowship of eating out with others.
If you are tracking macros and following a flexible dieting approach, you CAN eat out, enjoy it, and still reach your goals! Let us tell you how:
Look up the Nutrition Facts (online) before you go
Most restaurants these days have their nutrition information listed on their website. Austin and I like to browse the menu online whenever we know we are going to a certain restaurant. If they have the nutrition info listed, that makes it so simple because then we can determine what we want to eat and then just plan our other meals around it on that day. If they don’t have their nutrition listed, we still like to check out the menu and know what we are going to eat before we go. Then we can just estimate how many carbs, protein, fat we think will be in that meal and plan accordingly.
Save yourself a good amount of macros
Which leads me to my next point, if the restaurant doesn’t list the nutrition facts, just save yourself a good amount of macros so that you can enjoy your meal guilt free! For example, when we know we are going out for Mexican food and we decide on chicken fajitas with corn tortillas, a few chips, and some guacamole/salsa then we know we need to save up a large amount of carbs and fat and a moderate amount of protein. I think that anytime you go out to eat and you don’t have the nutrition info, you should overestimate the fat amount. Restaurants cook their meat, veggies, and starches in more oil/butter than you would think and that adds a ton more calories/fat to your meal than it may look like when they bring it out to you. You can also ask for your food to be grilled, steamed, prepared without oil/butter, but just be cautious.
Estimate and don’t stress
Last but not least, don’t let it stress you out! The whole point of flexible dieting is the FLEXIBILITY of it. One meal is not going to kill you and going over your macros 5, 10, or maybe even 20g one time is not going to derail your progress. Make sure that you include a protein base in your meal and then choose where you want your carbs/fat to come from. If you are going to be eating extra fats on the side for example in the forms of chips/guacamole/etc. then it would be smart to order the grilled chicken instead of the beef since it will be leaner, less fat, and a great source of protein.
You can eat out and still stay on track, hit your macros, and enjoy life! It just takes a little bit of planning ahead, knowing what you want before you go, or just being smart & making modifications to fit what you need for that meal.