My Top 10 Tips for Tracking at a Restaurant - Coach Mark Carroll


Feb 12, 2023
Sheridan Skye

Today’s article is dedicated to the most asked question in my inbox: 


Eating out is a normal part of being a human and while I don’t recommend eating out multiple times per week, I do encourage you to be social in moderation. You will need to be very conscious about your food choices if you have a certain goal in mind but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience. 

First things first: Accept that you will not be able to control your food environment completely. You will never be able to determine with 100% precision just how many calories are in a restaurant meal. Even if you choose a restaurant that displays the nutritional value it is grossly inaccurate – but again, that is a variable you cannot control. 

 Tracking something is better than tracking nothing at all.

 Here are my top 10 tips to keep you on track: 

TIP #1

Plan ahead, you should know that this meal is coming and you have a solid game plan to tackle it. Check the menu before leaving home so you know what to expect.

TIP #2

Don’t get to the restaurant feeling ravenous – your hunger will cause you to overeat. Opt for a small protein snack before getting to the restaurant.

TIP #3

Look for lean sources of protein where possible: Chicken breast, turkey, white fish, tuna, prawns, egg whites etc

TIP #4

Ask for your protein to be grilled not fried.

TIP #5

Split your carbohydrates and fats e.g. do not choose a meal that is high in both carbohydrate and fat. Instead choose either a High- Carb, Low Fat meal or a Low-Carb, High Fat meal.

TIP #6

Stick to low Calorie drinks e.g. sparkling water or diet soda.

TIP #7

Avoid alcohol as this will increase calorie intake and also reduces willpower. If you must drink, aim to drink spirits with diet mixers. 

TIP #8 

Ask for oil to be removed where possible but expect that you will have some oil in your meal. It is best to account for 1-2 tablespoons of oil to avoid underestimating the caloric value of the meal. 

TIP #9 

Practice calorie cycling by increasing the amount of calories you have on the day you will be eating out and decrease your calorie intake Monday-Friday. 

TIP #10 

Try and avoid dishes like pizzas, chips, deep fried food, and creamy pasta dishes (go tomato-based instead). 


Okay, I just needed to include this tip even though there’s technically 11 tips in this blog (I clearly don’t like uneven numbers LOL) – ALWAYS overestimate the amount of calories in the meal. I like to add a ‘tax’ of 15-20% of what I estimate. It’s better to be over than under :). 

Signing off with a few of my favourite quotes that are very relevant to this situation: 

“All or nothing, get’s you all or nothing”.

“It matters what you do most than what you do sometimes” 

And Mark’s favourite: “WIN THE DAY”. 


Yours in health,


Sheridan Skye

Head of Nutrition