If you are on a reduced calorie diet, you may find that it’s challenging to go out to eat. Many restaurants post calorie information, but a lot of them still do not provide calorie counts for their meals. By using a mobile calorie counter, you can easily look up the nutrient content of meals at many restaurants, even if it’s not listed on the menu. Just knowing how many calories you are consuming with a single meal may help you to choose a lower calorie option.
The database in your mobile food diary also has calorie information about many common restaurant dishes, and it can give you a good idea of what dish to choose even if the restaurant isn’t large enough to have nutrient content posted online. To be on the safe side there are some choices you can make to lower the calorie content of your meal as well. You could choose clear soup over creamy soup, avoid anything fried, sautéed, crispy, or anything that contains a synonym for “fried” in the description. Forgo extra cheese and choose leaner meats like chicken and fresh vegetables for sides to help you keep the calories down.
Not only can you use your mobile food journal to get an approximate calorie count on restaurant foods to help you make smart decisions, there are a few other things you can do while at a restaurant to reduce your calorie intake. Pay special attention to portion sizes. Many restaurants serve much more food than any one person needs, sometimes two and three times a serving size. It’s a good idea to ask for a to-go container with your order so you can immediately remove a third of what is on your plate and save it for another meal.
Your mobile food tracker is a handy way to make better choices when you eat out, but since the actual calorie content of a meal really depends on a cook, it’s a good idea to limit the meals that you get from restaurants and try to cook more meals at home. When you are the cook you know exactly what has gone into the dish and can get a more accurate idea of the overall nutrient content in each serving.
Ryan Newhouse is a longtime health writer, avid cyclist and general outdoorsman. He has traveled extensively and appreciates sourcing local ingredients for healthy meals and drinks, and he always keeps his mobile food journal at hand.