Tool Tip | Nutrition Guides & Calculators.

I collect nutrition guides like some people collect baseball cards. And I won’t trade them either. Allow me to explain…

I almost always pack my lunch for the work week. I also eat 99% of my meals at home. I found that this helps me greatly control my nutrition and calorie intake. If I’m in control of each and every ingredient that goes into my meal, I can control every single calorie or nutrient my body takes in. And who doesn’t like having control?

I am a homebody. I prefer eating my meals at home. Perhaps this stems from being a girl on a tight budget, but I often wonder why pay for something when you can make the same thing for a lot less. It’s a VERY rare occasion that I do go out for food. There have been the occasional “let’s finish this meeting over lunch at such and such a restaurant” while at work. I’ve learned to be prepared for those situations.

Subway Nutrition Guide

I can still maintain my diet, make healthy choices, and enjoy my food without the guilt when meals out actually do happen. I have researched several common restaurant chains near my work where casual lunch meetings may happen. I’ve scoured their Nutrition Guides (I keep these in my car, in my desk drawer, and a few in my “junk drawer” at home). I’ve been able to generate a list of safe food options at places like Subway and Panera Bread for example.

I’ve also used restaurant’s online Nutrition Calculators and print off my meal once I’ve calculated it. (Subway’s calculator here. Panera’s calculator is here.) IF you’re like me and record everything you eat along with the calorie and nutrition information, these are make meal planning and staying on a healthy diet a breeze.

An example of a nutrition calculator I used to build & customize my own meal at Panera. I printed this off to use for future reference.

I’ve come to the point where I know my “safe foods” list by heart. But if I’m at an unfamiliar restaurant, I ask for a copy of their nutrition guide so I can take home and find an option for next time. I don’t ever want to get too picky when I’m dining with friends. If no nutrition guide is available, I’ll generally pick a house salad, ask for a lot of tomatoes, no dressing (or have it on the side) and ask for a hard-boiled egg.

Two pieces of advice for staying health focused while eating out: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about nutrition and always use the restaurants’ nutrition resources.

REMINDER: don’t forget that SlimKicker is giving one of my readers an awesome 7 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker. To enter this GIVEAWAY, visit this post. There’s only a few more days left to enter to win!

7-Quart Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

Wishing you the best. katie

How do you stay on track when you eat your meals out?