How do yall handle eating out or at a friends?

so how do you guys handle eating out or eating at frieds (or anywhere for that matter) where you dont have nutrition information at your fingertips??

i just guess. most of the time i guess anyways, cuz i try to avoid eating packaged food when possible.

it never hurts to ask a food chain if they have a nutrition guide.  What's the worst they can say?  No!  Then you guess.  Guessing gets better over time, but we all under or over estimate from time to time. 

Also there are food guide books and ipod aps that can tell you the info for food chains, and some packeged  products.  With general guidelines for other foods as well.

If you've been open with your friend about your diabetes and are close enough to them to ask to look at the box, go for it!  This works well for snacks and casual meals but can be tricky at family style dinners with parents and siblings and home cooked meals...

I agree that you just gotta guess.  I thought that it was the law now that restaurants had to supply nutritional info.

Like the other posts, I give a good guestimate as to carbs etc. in whatever I'm eating. Usually I'm right on, but sometimes I don't bolus enough and wake up in the 300's, but such is life.

Once you've had diabeetus for awhile and figure out carbs in certain foods (usually through trial and error), you don't need to ask for carbs :)

I tend to memorize the carbs in foods I often eat, so that I don't have to look them up in the future, when I'm not eating them at home.  My husband finds it slightly creepy, I think...  ha.  The "Food List" programmed into my OneTouch Ping remote/meter is helpful sometimes, too.  But - as everyone else said - most of it is educated guessing!


Works on the iPhone great!

I rarely, if ever eat out (otherwise I just guess) and I don't eat at friends', I never tekk anyone either about the D, it is just too embarassing, shameful and degrading

[quote user="Carol11"]

I rarely, if ever eat out (otherwise I just guess) and I don't eat at friends', I never tekk anyone either about the D, it is just too embarassing, shameful and degrading



I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way, Carol.  May I ask why? 

I tend to believe that people take their cues from you - if you feel embarrassed or bothered by it, that's how others will feel, too.  If you treat it like it's not a big issue, they won't either.  A little education can go a long way.

This is probably obvious, but I get out the calculator on my phone, break down my guess for the carbs in each part/ingredient in the meal, then have it added all together. At restaurants, if I'm feeling motivated, I try to order something with fewer ingredients (like a sandwich rather than lots of stuff mixed together in a mysterious sauce).

But, Dim Sum and Tapas are the worst for guesstimating! If anyone has advice there, send it my way!


Carol, I found your post depressing. I'm sorry you feel that way, but I hope you're able to live your life, such as meeting friends out for a meal.

My diabetes educator told me to buy The Calorie King book.  It's not too big so I usually just keep it in my purse and it has quite a few food chains in it.  If I don't have the book with me or if I can't find what I'm eating in the book then I will have to guess.  Unfortunately I'm really really bad at guessing.  Most of the time I guess too much and end up low and then have to force feed myself more food.  If I'm out with my husband I will sometimes ask him how many carbs he thinks are in my food.  He has been a type 1 diabetic for almost 20 years and is much much better at guessing than I am. 

My husband and I use the Calorie King book a lot....but if we are out and about....I've been doing this for so long, that I have a pretty good idea of how many carbs I am about to eat and how much insulin to take!

i have the calorie king book in my lab coat. i carry it around the hospital with me. it's fascinating to look up nutrition info. but, most of the time i guess like everyone else does. you start to remember the foods you eat most commonly and can make pretty accurate guesses on carb info based off foods that are similar. the best way to check your accuracy is to check your BGs a couple hours later. you'll even surprise yourself sometimes how well you do !

I always ask the server for a Nutritional Fact Sheet when we place our order.  If they can't find one, or give me a blank look, I asked them to either check with the Manager, or ask to see the Manager.  With a smile on my face and a kind voice, I always explain that my son is has Type 1 Diabetes, and that his insulin dose is calculated based on the carbohydrates he is eating, so having an accurate count is important.  I want them to know that it's not just "calorie counters" who need this information; for many people, it's a really important thing.  If they're not able to provide the information, the Manager now knows that it is important, and why.  And, if they do provide, I ask if I can keep the sheet "for future reference", letting them know we'll be coming back.

Otherwise, the Calorie King book is excellent.  The beginning of each section usually has "typical" sizes and carb counts.  And, if my hubby's cell phone has internet reception, we look it upon the Calorie King website.  Or, guess :)

When we're eating at friend's houses, they already know that William has T1, and either have the carb count figured out for us, or have the recipe available for me to figure it out.  We have really great friends :)


an interesting tidbit of information i recently learned:

because of the new healthcare reform, chain restaurants (that have 20 or more stores) will be required to provide nutritional info for the foods they serve on their regular menu. if they have a special menu item or something they serve less than 60 days per year, they don't have to provide the information, otherwise everything must be available for customers upon request. this includes businesses that have buffets and salad bars.

so, very soon, it will be MUCH easier to go out and get carbohydrate counts!

I had heard that too C -- I'm hoping it will be helpful! I've been trying to get better about looking up exact carb counts online before eating at a chain. Hopefully this will encourage me.

I look things up before we go out. I have Riley pick what she wants I add it all up. Then we go order and I split it in half of quarters sometimes even and give her insulin for that part. If she eats it all and wants more I will give her more insulin for it then or sometimes after it all depends but most of the time she is full after the first half.

I either estimate, call my mom and ask, or memorize how many carbs something is (such as milk is 12 carbs for 1 cup)

I estimate or ask someone. Or i look at the label.


Guessing is really the only way you can do it when you eat out.  If you're at a friends house, it's easy to ask them for nutrition info on the food they're making.  I've also found that a lot of chain restaurants now have nutrition cards with all the information on them.  Chinese, Mexican, and Italian foods have a higher glycemic index (meaning they take longer to absorb in the blood stream), so if you have a pump I use either the square or dual wave bolus for these foods.  I hope this helps!