Today you and I are going to cover every dieters dilemma, how to track calories at restaurants?
You are tracking your calories because some crazy coach is making you track your calories and learn about the food you are eating ( that crazy coach might be me!).
It is a Friday and you have tracked your calories the entire day. All of a sudden your spouse asks you if you want to go out to dinner tonight to de stress from a long work week.
Of course you say yes because who wouldn’t.
Then it hits you, how are you going to track your calories when you go to this restaurant?
You won’t have your food scale (at least I hope not) so how can you be sure you are tracking calories accurately and still moving closer to your goals?
Are you going to ruin all of your progress?
No need to fret. I got your back.
In this article I will cover multiple different ways on how to track calories at restaurants.
There is going to be a few different strategies therefore just be sure to understand each one fully to have multiple options at your disposal.
Ready? Let’s do this.
How To Track Calories At Restaurants
Before we dive into any tips or strategies on how to track calories at restaurants I need you to remember this.
You do not have to be perfect.
I love the fact you are reading this article right now to try and make sure you see the most progress possible on your fitness goals by learning how to track calories at restaurants.
Yet please remember this, you do not have to be perfect. This article is not going to be some perfect system of add this, subtract that, then whip out your food scale and measure your pizza.
It is going to be impossible to truly know calorie for calorie how many you are eating out at a restaurant, over a friends house, or any time where you can’t be in full control of what you are eating.
The best part is, that is okay, because it nor you has to be perfect. You just have to be consistent.
That is exactly what this article is going to do. I am going to give you multiple strategies you can take with you to help you get as close as you possibly can and allow you to remain consistent with your diet.
The worst thing you can do in this situation is say to yourself “Well, I can’t perfectly count my calories because I don’t have my food scale and I don’t know the calorie count, so to hell with it the binge is on!!”.
That my friend is going to do you nor your fitness goals any good.
This is a game of being consistent rather than being perfect. As long as you remain consistent, you will achieve all of your goals.
Are we understanding each other? *Nods head*. Perfect, now, let’s get into the strategies for how to track calories at a restaurant.
5 Strategies For How To Track Calories At Restaurants
#1 Looking Up Calories Before Hand
When it comes to tracking calories at restaurants, the internet can be a beautiful place.
Luckily we live in an era where we have smartphones that hold the same power Ronald Regan used to run the free world.
Coupled with the fact that many restaurants are now working to be cognizant of being transparent about what is in their food, this makes for a great combination for you the dieter.
A ton of restaurants these days have their nutrition information somewhere on their website.
Take 5 Guys here above for example.
They even go more in depth to offer the macros as well with protein, carbs, and fats.
no matter what you eat during that meal, it has to fit on one plate.
This includes appetizers, entrees, and desserts. All of it. If you cannot fit it on plate together as a whole, then you need to scale back your portion size.
What this does is without tracking calories meticulously, it allows you to keep your calories in check.
If you stick to your food being able to fit on one plate you can inherently only fit so many calories on that one plate.
Obviously with the premise being that you stick to a regular size plate as well as you don’t stack em high like pancakes.
You will say Eric, but I don’t know exactly how many calories to put into my fitness pal app!
I know Sally, I know. I also know that one night of you eating out is not going to make or break your progress. This is because this game is all about consistency not perfection, remember?
Therefore if you can stick to your one plate rule for the night, keep your calories in check, and hold yourself accountable to simply a different kind of nutrition guideline, you will win.
Now you may say “well okay Eric, but what if the plate is filled with pasta and pizza!?”.
I’d first say sounds amazing. I would then say you can go a bit more in depth with the one plate rule and make it so you can upgrade it a tad.
Let’s now look at how to do that.
#3 What Makes Up The One Plate
When it comes to how to track calories at restaurants if you stick to the one plate rule mentioned above you are going to win, I promise.
Yet if you want to take it up a notch, here is how you can do that.
You know everything has to fit on one plate but you want to be mindful of what is on that plate, right?
Of course you do, you hard working dieter you.
Here is how you can do that.
That one plate has to composed of
1 palm size portion of protein (1/4 of the plate)
2 fist fuls of vegetables (1/2 of the plate)
1 cupped handful of carbs (1/4 of the plate)
Now you have narrowed down and gotten even more specific with keeping your calories in check when you may not be able to count them perfectly.
Friendly reminder: this strategy does not ave to be used for just when you are eating at a restaurant. This can be used while at your friends house for the football game or your grandmas house for Sunday night dinner.
The beauty of this strategy is it is yet another way to keep your calories in check without having to meticulously count calories.
Let’s be honest, god willing you are always going to have your hand to portion out your proteins, carbs, and vegetables.
As well as you will always have your eyeball to measure out portions on the plate.
Protein is normally lower to moderate calories and incredibly filling.
Vegetables are normally low calories and incredibly filling as well.
So you want to know how to overcome gym intimidation huh?
You want to head into the gym, use the weights, and change your body but it is just too intimidating.
There is one guy over in the weights area who is grunting and has muscles popping out of his neck.
Another guy and girl couple doing some intense hiit workout that they are seemingly breezing through.
Therefore A + B = Not going to the freaking gym thanks though!
Listen, I got you.
By the time you get done reading this article you are going to be ready to tell the muscle guy in the weight room to get the hell out of your way because you got changes to make to your body.
Well, in a polite way of course because we don’t want to be rude now.
Just be sure to fully understand every concept, strategy, and tip I am going to give you here.
Cool? Cool. Let’s figure out how to overcome gym intimidation.
How To Overcome Gym Intimidation
You Have To Realize…
Before I get into tips and tacts, or strategies and surefire ways to make sure you are confident in the gym, you must understand this.
No one cares what you are doing in the gym.
Wait a minute, clearly they do, doesn’t everyone who goes to the gym sit there and wait for newbies like you to wander in so they can make fun of and judge you?
Re read that back to yourself, does that even make any sense?
People don’t care about what you are doing in the gym for two main reasons.
Number one, everyone in the gym is doing the exact same thing you are doing and thinking the exact same thing you are thinking.
“ I hope I don’t come in and make a fool of myself and I hope no one is looking at me or judging me”.
You are thinking that, and the person next to you is thinking that as well.
Therefore you are both too busy worrying about you not judging one another, neither one of you has time to judge one another!
You aren’t judging them and they aren’t judging you. You both just want to get in, get your workout in, not make a fool of yourself, and get out.
That goes for every single person in the gym.
The Second Reason Is…
The second reason no one cares what you are doing is the average persons attention span won’t allow them to even get through reading this entire article.
I bet yours was challenged already by checking your messages, checking instagram, tending your kids needs, and so on.
Do you really think anyone has time to study your every move in the gym and wait for you to do something wrong so they can judge you?
The jacked guy in the weights area who is grunting and has muscles popping out of his neck is entirely too infatuated with his biceps to even notice you are there.
The guy and girl couple who was breezing through their hiit workout is too busy taking selfies to put on instagram to take the time to notice what you are doing right or wrong.
Simply put, there are not these people that are designated gym judgers who sit there waiting for people like you to come in and judge you.
Now, let’s say there is someone in there who is judging you.
They are like man is she doing her push ups wrong or wow that guy does not know how to lift.
Two things for you here.
Number one, even if that was the case, which it is not, who cares?
You don’t know that person. That person has no impact on your life. You don’t interact with that person on a daily basis.
Therefore why are you letting some random person opinion stop you from losing weight, getting stronger, or feeling better about yourself?
Would you really let someone you don’t know nor care for opinion dictate how you are going to live your life?
I hope not because you deserve way better than that. Don’t let that happen.
Number two, if that was the case, they have something wrong with them, not you.
They are the ones that is doing something wrong.
You could be the most out of shape individual in the world, doing the worst form on every exercise, and completely lost in the gym.
They are still the ones who would be taking time out of their day to negatively judge someone else, making them a complete and utter loser, not you.
To sum up, the number one thing I would tell you on how to overcome gym intimidation is to realize right off the bat, it is not nearly as bad as you are making it out to be in your head.
Everyone doesn’t want to be judged just like you.
Now beyond that, let’s talk about some actionable, practical tips you can take with you as you make your new trek into the gym shall we?
5 Tips On How To Overcome Gym Intimidation
These are my top 5 favorite things I tell people on how to overcome gym intimidation. There can certainly be more, but I promise if you do these 5 things, you are going to feel confident and ready to take on the gym.
#1 Have A Plan
The number one obstacle you could face that could cause gym intimidation is not having a plan.
Often times when people tell me why they haven’t gone to the gym it is because they don’t know what to do when they get there.
Tell me if this has happened to you before.
You get to the gym and get on the cardio machine because you know how to do that.
Then you try to make your way over to the weights and machines area to try something else out.
You walk around for a little and stare at the machines. Other people knowing exactly what they are doing on them and you are well, clueless.
This then leads you to walk right on back over to the cardio machines and then on home.
You get home and say “well if I am going to do is the cardio machines why even go at all?”.
This leads you to not go back because you will just walk at home (if that happens at all).
What did all of this stem from? This stemmed from you not having a plan, from you not knowing what to do when you got into the gym.
You didn’t know what exercises to do or how to do them properly. You didn’t know how the machines worked or how to do them properly.
There was no confidence on your part, only anxiety and the feeling of being unsure on everything.
The number one tip I have for you is to have a plan for what you are going to do when you walk into that gym.
Know exactly what exercises you are going to do and how you are going to properly perform them.
Understand how many reps and sets you will do for those exercises.
Go in knowing what equipment you will use and where it is located.
Have. A. Plan.
I cannot stress to you enough how important this is.
Well, I am Not A Fitness Professional, I Don’t Know What To Do
I get it, this is not what you do for a living like myself.
I don’t expect you to know exactly what exercises to do or how to do them properly on your own.
This is where I will say one of two things.
Number one would be use this thing called the internet.
You know the same way you found this article.
There is so much information out there whether it is form videos on YouTube, articles on how to develop your own strength training program, or podcasts on how to ensure you see progress in the gym .
There is a plethora of information out there.
Which, can actually be a positive or a negative.
The information is endless on the Internet which can lead you down a path of getting quality information, or it can lead you down a path of becoming more overwhelmed and confused.
Therefore, number two is hire a professional.
The internet is great, but how do you know if any of the information is truly right?
Also even if it is right, is it right for you, the individual?
There is a reason people like myself make our entire livings off of coaching individuals. This is my life. I live and breath fitness and I am able to teach it to you as well.
Now I am not saying you have to hire me and join my coaching program, though if you want to I will link the application form here.
I am saying hire a professional who knows what they are doing to at least get you set up on the right track.
In this case you should not only get a plan but also learn something from said individual so you can continue to develop on your own.
Either route you go, if you want to know the best tip I have for how to overcome gym intimidation, it would be to have a plan.
#2 Take Videos Of Yourself
Okay I know this probably sends your anxiety through the roof even reading that.
“You want me to not only go into the gym, but also take videos of myself while I am there?! In front of all of those people?! No WAY!”.
Hear me out for a second I promise it’ll be worth it.
I am not saying take selfie videos for instagram, although if that helps you get into the gym in the first place I am all for it.
I am saying take videos of your exercise form so you can go back and re watch it to see if you are doing it right.
Candidnly, I struggled a ton with this early on in my career. I didn’t take videos of myself because I didn’t want people thinking I was some self centered guy just taking videos of myself as I workout.
Two things then happened. Number one I realized what I told you already above, that I wasn’t going to let some random people who I didn’t even know or interact with dictate how I would live my life.
Yet also number two, this is the way I think of it.
Professional football players watch game tape. They watch their games to see what they did right, what they did wrong, where they could improve upon, and so on.
This is no different. This is your game tape.
You are getting videos of you performing exercises so you can see if your form is correct and or what needs to be worked on.
This done many things.
First off it allows you to stay healthy an injury free.
Beyond that is also ensures you are using the right muscles to see the best progress while you are in there.
Yet most importantly for the content of this article, it makes you confident.
If you take a video of yourself and you know your form is on point, that gives you a sense of calm. You won’t have to worry about people looking at you for doing the wrong thing because you already know it is right.
Point being, it can give you a ton of confidence and strength knowing that what you are doing is right.
If you are asking how to overcome gym intimidation, I know this one sounds scary and may make you uncomfortable at first, but I promise it is worth it.
#3 Tell People You Are A Newbie
This one also may make you think “why the hell would I do that?! I don’t want people knowing that!”.
Again, hear me out.
Everyone who is an avid gym goer lives to help newbies.
A few reasons. Number one is because it makes people feel good.
They are able to share their knowledge and opinion with you, which normally always makes someone feel good.
Think about when people come to you for advice and take what you have to say to heart, makes you feel good doesn’t it?
Second, no matter how fit or experienced someone is, everyone started somewhere.
That ultra fit person was once a beginner too therefore they know what it is like to be one.
I can tell you first hand with myself I wish I had someone pointing me in the right direction when I first started off, which is why I take to my social media platforms and articles like this to help people like yourself reading this.
If someone gave me this advice early on it would be game changing for me.
Therefore if people know you are a beginner they will want to do nothing but help you.
They’ll be friendly and make you feel welcomed, which will help when it comes to how to overcome gym intimidation.
#4 Get Outside Support
This one can really be a game changer for a lot of people.
One of the biggest things is you don’t want to be alone. This can come in the form of two ways. Either hiring a professional to work with you like we mentioned above, or joining a community or group.
This can help you feel connected, accepted, and empowered.
This could be your local friends, your spouse, your teachers at school, a class in the gym, etc.
Another option could be an online group you can interact with.
I run an online group myself and I have to tell you the interaction, support, caring attitude, and accepting of everyone in that group is absolutely amazing.
One thing I have seen is that because it may not be a ton of people you truly know in real life, you are to go in and really speak your thoughts.
Tell the group how you feel, what you are going through, or the questions you have.
Sometimes when it comes to being in person or asking friends, you may hold back because you don’t feel 100% comfortable or want them to judge you.
In an online group that is nothing but support, caring, and kind, this does not hold you back because you can be open and honest.
Either way, joining some type of group so you are not alone is a great option for how to overcome gym intimidation.
#5 Go At The Same Days / Times
Rounding out the tips would be create a routine and stick to it.
Head to the gym at the same times on the same days week after week.
You will see the same people, the same faces, and follow a similar routine.
People know you and you know them.
This will help you settle into things a bit more and get comfortable with what you are doing.
The first week or two is going to be uncomfortable because it is new.
Yet if you can push through that first initial time period and go on the same days and same times, this can help really solidify your confidence going in there.
Final Word : How To Overcome Gym Intimidation
When it comes to the question of how to overcome gym intimidation I want to leave you with this one thing.
Remember, everyone that goes to the gym is there for the same reason you are, and that is to get better.
The guy who has muscles popping out of his neck and is in the weights area grunting, he is there to make a better version of himself.
The couple who is doing the crazy insane hiit workouts and taking selfies, they are there to better themselves.
You, a beginner and someone who is looking to overcome gym intimidation, you are there to better yourself.
The gym is a beautiful place because it is one of the only places on this plant where everyone is there for the sole reason to better themselves.
The more you realize that, along with everything mentioned in this article, I promise you you will win.
I hope this article helped and I hope it got you confident to not only step foot into the gym, but kick some ass while you are there.