4 Ways to Manage Your Macros At A Restaurant

Oh hello there. Fancy seeing me again right? I know, I know. I’ve been totally killin’ it on Instagram but where the heck have the healthy, helpful blog posts been? Well, I started a new business, took a hand lettering class, make some new friends, and suddenly it was June. 

But in the last few months, the aforementioned small business Beauties and Beasts has started to gain traction and I thought (and maybe pushed by my Board of Advisors) that it would be good to get back to posting tips and trips for healthy lifestyles.  If you want to learn more or join the team shoot me an email, it’s not to late to join the June cohort. 

Beauties and Beasts

*Side note, my board of advisors is made up by my husband, my besties and my cats. Feel free to apply but the process to be approved can be time-consuming, vigorous, and may involve mongoramming.*

The number one thing clients ask me when we first sit down to talk about macros and flexible dieting is how to track their food when they are eating out. The severity of my response depends on how often said client finds themselves eating out. In my program, eating at restaurants, parties, your in-law’s house, etc. is part of life! I don’t expect you to bring a scale with you and whip it out to weigh the chicken and I imagine it’s not going to go over so well if you ask Aunt Betty to tell you how many tablespoons of mayo she used in her tuna salad.

So where does that leave you? 

Well, whatever you do, don’t give up. So many clients will just call it a wrap when they encounter something at a restaurant that they don’t know how to track. Put you brain ballcap on and do some quick estimating. Estimating doesn’t need to bring on an anxiety attack and it’s certainly not worth throwing an entire day in MyFitnessPal away. As a coach, the number one thing I don’t want you to do is to throw an entire day of nutrition down the drain. 

Four Tips to Maximize Eating At Restaurants (2)

When you putting on your little black dress or your turkey pants, here are a few quick tips to help you avoid that failing, falling, feeling. 

Anticipate the inevitable – You eat out with your friends every Friday night.
But now you track macros…  Guess what? You’re still going to eat with your friends on Friday night and you’re still probably going to get brunch on Sundays. Just plan for it. Put the chips and queso and margaritas into MyFitnessPal the minute you open your eyes in the morning. Do it before you feed your cat or water your plant on Plant Nanny.  And if you don’t end up going out, guess what? That just means you can probably fit ice cream or an all elusive pop tart into your evening. (One day I’m going to do a post entirely dedicated to pop tarts cause those bad boys get way more publicity than I think they are cracked up for.)  Plan around your meals out, and if they don’t happen, sometimes that’s when the best random concoctions of macros come together. Or just text your coach, and I’ll tell you what to eat. Either way, when in doubt put it in your meal plan ahead of time. 

Look it up onlineThe internet is a wonderful and terrible place. Use it for good and for following my blog. Most restaurants have a website that lists out the macronutrients of their dishes. And for those of you who find yourself eating at only farm to table or mom and pop places, unless you’re eating food served only on Mars, you should be able to find something via our friend Google that roughly fits the bill. Keep in mind, perfect is the enemy of done. Coaches don’t expect you to be perfect but they do expect you to try.  So try and find something that matches that cheesy appetizer you know you love to get. 

Pick Smart– If you know you are going to have an appetizer and a drink (and maybe dessert because you’re feeling wild) go with a lean meat and *gasp* a veggie side. I know the bacon cheese fries look good, but unless you’ve got the macro numbers of a small army, perhaps you could settle for a bite of your date’s dinner. This is assuming you have a nice date… I wouldn’t give you a bite of my fries. This site is one of my favorite go-to lists of meals at popular restaurants  that are macro friendly, use it! Also knowledge is power so if nothing else peruse that list and you’ll find yourself gravitating towards smarter dishes at restaurant. Because it’s hard to un-see how much fat really is in that favorite dish of yours.  Hate me now, love me later. 

Get It On The Side– If you can’t pronounce it, wouldn’t feed it to your kids (or your cats), or think that it might last on a rocket ship to the moon, go ahead and ask for it on the side. I am a lover of all sauces. And I’d love nothing better but to eat first and ask questions later. But that often leaves me whining for desert knowing that I have already totally blown my fat macros for the day. Ask for salad dressing, sandwich toppings, dipping sauces, etc. on the side. However, just because you asked for them on the side, doesn’t mean you can’t try them. Dip away! But hopefully the cue of having them on the side will help your brain portion them a wee bit better. 

If you’ve done the legwork, sit back and breath. One meal is not going to make or break your week, your month, your progress. But that’s the thing to keep in mind. Remember what I said at the beginning, the stringent-ness of your restaurant macro counting, all depends on HOW FREQUENT you find yourself eating out. If this is the only way that you can get your calories every day, find a coach who will make that work. I have clients who are nurses, small business owners, and business dudes that travel 3 times a week. The tips I give them about eating out are going to look different than I give to the college student or stay at home mom grabbing a bite to eat once a week. For the average client who eats out once or twice a week give these tips a whirl and let me know how they go.