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Figuring out restaurant calories?

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Old 06-11-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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Default Figuring out restaurant calories?

I went through some of the past threads on this, but couldn't really answer my question. What do some of you do when you go to a place that doesn't post nutrition info?
We are going to Cooper's Hawk Winery tonight, and while they post their menu, they don't post nutrition info. I would rather order what I want and fit this into my daily calorie allotment (via portion sizes, eating less during the day) then order the super healthy options just because I know they will be less calories... ha ha. Bad I know but I don't eat out much and I'm a foodie!
Recently I went to Granite City and they also don't have calorie info... but I thought my chicken ranch sandwich tasted like Chili's and my fries like Steak and Shake so I just kind of recorded it that way. Any one else have any other methods? I just emailed both restaurants and told them to get some nutrition facts!
Thank you!
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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I do exactly the same thing, sometimes--I approximate based on a similar dish elsewhere.

More often, if I can't measure it accurately, I just don't eat it. This was a big breakthrough for me: previous attempts at calorie counting failed in part because, when faced with something I couldn't accurately count, I would freeze. Once I'd decided to eat something, I HAD to have it, and if I couldn't count it, the whole system fell apart. Realizing I needed to prioritize "countability" up there with "taste" was a new idea.

This doesn't mean you can't eat out places that don't post nutritional information--it just means that when looking at the menu, "countability" should be one of your concerns: if both the steak and the fancy salad appeal equally, the steak is actually much, much easier to account for than an elaborate salad, so go with the steak (it may also have fewer calories. Salads--really yummy ones--can be killers). The hamburger is probably easier to approximate than the wraps. The shrimp is probably easier to approximate than the pasta. The boxed ham or turkey sandwich is easier to figure out than the chicken salad sandwich.

So if I am stuck out and feeling panicky, I pick the thing that I can figure out AND that I like. Something usually meets both requirements.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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I'd probably do the same- look at the menu and see on another menu from another restaurant the calories for a comparison.

Wow looked them up- man their food looks YUMMY. Probably something off their gluten free menu might be lower in calorie.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmead View Post
This doesn't mean you can't eat out places that don't post nutritional information--it just means that when looking at the menu, "countability" should be one of your concerns: if both the steak and the fancy salad appeal equally, the steak is actually much, much easier to account for than an elaborate salad, so go with the steak (it may also have fewer calories. Salads--really yummy ones--can be killers). The hamburger is probably easier to approximate than the wraps. The shrimp is probably easier to approximate than the pasta. The boxed ham or turkey sandwich is easier to figure out than the chicken salad sandwich.
I do exactly this. Given options, I'll pick the one that's easier for me to account for. Almost anywhere you can get a steak, a baked potato with sour cream (no butter for me, but I need sour cream, salt, and pepper on my baked potatoes!), and some veggies or a plain side salad with light dressing on the side. I avoid anything with a heavy sauce or dressing or a lot of different ingredients that I can't really discern.

Does that mean that I don't always get the thing I'm *craving* the most? Sure. But I go out to eat a lot and it's worth it to me. I'll have the crazy-calorie thing once every month or two or three. The rest of the time I'll pick a more reasonable choice that is still DELICIOUS!
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for all your advice... I played it safe skipped the awesome looking risotto and fried foods, and stuck with sausage and peppers, and fish with greenbeans for dinner. Thank you!
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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I use the info on another restaurant item that is pretty close, or I just try to figure out the individual ingredients and guess the amounts. Anything is better than not counting. I have learned the hard way is to stop ordering food I can't easily count in restaurants. I go for simple foods, a small steak and salad or such. I also order off the ala carte or side order part of the menu and avoid platters of food as they are always so incredibly high in calories.
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