Portion control is tough when you don’t have a scale available. Here are some tips for estimating portion sizes in order to stay on track. Yes, you can dine out and still eat within your macros.
Especially when it comes to restaurant dining, portions are generally large. If you don’t have the ability to weigh and measure food and you’re torn between two different estimations, pick the higher one just in case.
Utilize the portion control diagrams that your nutritionist provided to you in your day 1 email! They have a guide that gives you visual representations using just your hand, which is helpful since that’s something you’ll always have on you and can refer to for estimation purposes when in a pinch.
Whether you want to send a picture of your food to your nutritionist or just double check with portion estimation, always reach out to your nutritionist! We count our macros too and have been in these situations numerous times. If you send a clear picture (try not to have the food in a deep bowl), and/or a description of the menu item, and what you tracked for it, your nutritionist can double check and offer suggestions if need be.
It’s much easier to estimate something when there aren’t 20 different components to the dish. Grilled proteins, steamed grains and veggies are going to be much easier to estimate than something super complex like a pasta dish or a loaded salad, and the macros will probably be better too. Also, when it comes to proteins like steak and lobster for example, the menu will often tell you how many ounces or pounds you’ll be getting.
Even if your estimations aren’t perfect, realize that its just ONE MEAL. You shouldn’t be dining out every day, and if you are, that’s a bigger problem than the portion size estimations. If one meal is incorrectly tracked, it doesn’t change the fact that the rest of them have been meticulously weighed, measured and tracked accordingly. Cut yourself some slack and be sure to be extra diligent with weighing/measuring and tracking when you have the ability to!
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Emily Ventura BS Public Health