Portion Control at Restaurants

When you are trying to lose weight, going out to eat at restaurants can be super daunting.  It’s hard to control yourself and even when you try to keep your plate in check, you never really know what’s in it.  Even if you order a piece of grilled chicken, at a restaurant it’s likely cooked in butter and you will unknowingly eat more fat than you planned.  Whereas if you were to make a chicken breast at home, you know exactly how it’s cooked.

If you want to stay on track while eating out, most importantly you should read this blog post .  I give some really good important on how to track macros at restaurants.  But what about portion control?!

The best way to deal with huge portions at restaurants is to visualize:

  • A serving of meat should be about the size of your palm
  • A serving of grains (rice, quinoa, etc.) is about the size of your fist
  • A serving of nuts, butter, or oil is about the size of your thumb

I mean let’s be realistic…you aren’t going to whip out your food scale while eating out!  You may not estimate the macros perfectly, but something is better than nothing.  If you give it a solid effort (and are honest with yourself), you probably won’t be that far off track!

I recently estimated macros based on visualizing portion sizes and then checked myself by taking half home to weigh out.  Surprisingly I wasn’t that far off!  You can read about what I learned here.

Lastly, when I go out to eat I tend to overestimate calories and portion sizes.  I would much rather eat too little than go waaaay over and not know it.  For example, if I share a piece of cake with a few friends (and it comes out to about 4-5 bites), I would estimate that I ate a cupcake.  It might be overestimating slightly, but again, when it comes to eating out and not knowing exact ingredients, it’s better to play it safe.


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