Sami G Clements

So you’ve been following your flexible dieting plan for a while now and so far, so good! You’ve gotten used to weighing and measuring your food with ease and tracking your daily macro data has never felt simpler. But… then the thing you’ve been dreading happens. Someone invites you out to dinner and you feel your heart sink a little. You can’t go out to eat while working towards a fat loss goal, right? What should you do? Cancel on them to avoid all temptation and stick to your diet? Or maybe give yourself a night off from tracking and go crazy? I mean, you’ve been so good lately…

The answer is: NEITHER!

You can stick to your flexible diet AND go out to eat! 


Approach 1: Plan Ahead of Time

This strategy is the ideal for people who are newer to flexible dieting. It takes a little time, and a little extra thought-but it makes your day (and your meal out to eat) a stress-free breeze!


For example’s sake, let’s say your friend invites you to Cheesecake Factory. You pull up their online menu and consider your options. Hmm… the Four Cheese Pasta dish sounds really good! The good thing about big chain restaurants is that their menus are mostly imported with accurate calories/macros/micros to Myfitnesspal.



As you search the Four Cheese Pasta, you find that the dish has 1240 calories! Although you surely could fit this into your total calories for the day, it probably wouldn’t be the most sensible decision as it would make the rest of the day extremely difficult (like eating chicken breast and egg whites the rest of the day to hit your protein kind of difficult).

Because you’re a boss babe and planning ahead, you are in the position to make eating at Cheesecake Factory AND hitting your fitness nutrition goals work.

You could decide to enjoy ½ of the entree at the restaurant (meaning only 620 calories used!) and box up the rest to take home for a later meal. Or maybe instead, you will choose one of the “lighter fare” options that most restaurants have these days, including Cheesecake Factory, as they are not only lower calorie, but also higher protein and can fit into your day without much work.

Whichever route you take, you will be successful thanks to a little planning.

Voila! Now that you’ve made a decision, you can comfortably plan the rest of your day to make sure you hit your goals and are saved the stress of making a rushed decision at the restaurant or missing out on quality time with your friend while tracking in MyFitnessPal.




If you’re wanting to eat something (at any restaurant) that is going to take up a significant amount of calories, it can be done with a little maneuvering! A good approach is to cut down what you’re eating during the day to accommodate extra calories for that meal.

For example, during your breakfast let’s say you really like having two eggs and two slices of toast. On a day when you know you’re going to use up more calories than normal heading out to eat, you could substitute your normal eggs for egg whites or consider cutting down to a single slice of toast to buy yourself an extra few hundred calories.

Maybe, you really enjoy having a small Coke with lunch. Subbing your Coke for water (or a diet beverage) will you also give you extra leeway for your night out.

If you want to get really tricky, another option is to cut down your calories the next day to give yourself more for your evening out today. A good rule of thumb is to borrow up to 200 calories from tomorrow’s macros (or borrow them in advance the day before) and then utilize those calories for your dinner. However, this can be a dangerous cycle to get into! If you cut out too many of tomorrow’s calories- you may find yourself struggling to stick to your goal. If you work with Team Fitbliss, this usually won’t be recommended by your coach.


Approach 2: Make an Informed Decision

No time to plan ahead? Going to a smaller restaurant where the menu or calories/macros aren’t listed online or on MyFitnessPal? That’s okay! Don’t stress it. If you’re in a bind and don’t have extra calories for the day- there is still bound to be a lighter option at almost any restaurant. If you’ve got the calories and something in particular is looking good, enter in the ingredients individually into MFP using your best judgement and decide how you will approach the meal. EXAMPLE: OUT TO MEXICAN You check out the menu of the restaurant and see Steak Fajitas listed. This sounds good! You look at what’s included with the dish and use your best estimate to track the meal. After tracking, it looks like this meal will run you about 1,609 calories.

You decide that you’ll have the waiter hold the tortillas, rice, some of the guac, and plan to eat ¾ of the fajita dish to save you some extra calories (or give them to your friend). Now this meal is only running you 655 cals.  WIN…WIN



One of the hardest parts of all of this tends to be the ever pressing “what if” question of whether or not you’ve tracked correctly. What if your guesstimate was incorrect?

Maybe you’re off by 30 calories, maybe even 100. The truth is…. in the long run tracking something incorrectly (or imperfectly) is bound to happen! Because we don’t have scales with us 24/7 (hopefully) and restaurants and even prepackaged foods can have some measure of error, there are just some variables that are out of our control. However, if you’re consistent, even a couple hundred calorie variance will not throw off your progress. And just imagine…how much further off would you have been had you not tracked at all?


Okay so we get it, you’re out with your friend and you don’t want so spend valuable time tracking things in your phone. This is one reason why we recommend planning ahead, but you can also snap a picture of your meal to track as soon as you’re done! This is not the most effective method, but can be useful in a bind!


Approaches 3: The “Hermit” Approach

Stay in. Be a hermit and do everything in your power to avoid going out at all costs. Okay, okay…I’m kind of kidding with this one, but you get the point. It is inevitable! You will go out to eat sometime and a diet that pushes you to never do this is going to be a hard one to stick to!



Putting It All Together

I know that at first, heading out to eat can feel intimidating, but it is SO very doable with patience and practice. As you continue to flexible diet, going to a restaurant will be something you can do with ease and without so much effort. However remember that the effort you put into learning how to do it now is what’s going to get you there! 



Check out these helpful sites that we like for macro-friendly restaurant suggestions and help:


Interested in learning more about our Team Fitbliss nutrition coaching? Click HERE to fill out an application and get in touch with one of our coaches today!



Fitbliss is a company FOR women. Our clients make a mental, physical, and emotional transformation. We empower them to love their bodies, find balance, and free themselves  from chronic dieting through our tried and tested approach.