Everyday life. · T1D technology · Tips & tricks

Carb counting on the go.

One of the trickiest times to figure carbs is when you eat out. We jumped in head first when we went on vacation to Pigeon Forge two weeks after diagnosis last year.

25 01 vacation popeyes
Luke’s first post-diagnosis meal in a restaurant.

Our most common method of figuring up carb counts is to use the My Fitness Pal app on our phone. This app not only has carb counts for foods prepared and eaten at home, but for chain restaurants, as well.


Another bonus for this website/app is you can import recipes that you make at home and it will calculate how many carbs in each serving for you!


Many people like to use Calorie King, as well. This is the app Luke uses. We have a race to see which app- My Fitness Pal or Calorie King- can find his meal the quickest. (Plus it let’s us fact check the carbs!)

calorie king

Another website I discovered is MenuStat. I haven’t used this one as much because there isn’t an app. But if you plan ahead, you could use this site to help you gather a carb count.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 11.28.17 AM

If you or your child is like Luke and you get the same thing every time you go to certain restaurants, you can keep track of those meals in the “notes” section on your phone. It makes it super easy to grab the carb count! (I actually sent a screen shot of this page to Luke, so he doesn’t have to ask me every time.)

notes meals.JPG

Sometimes, though, it’s near impossible to find exact carb counts. That’s when you just have to make your best educated guess. For example, Luke often gets chicken fingers if we visit a new restaurant. If they don’t have carb counts readily available, we will often use Hacienda’s carb count (in our notes) and use that.

Sometimes we eat somewhere and they look at us like we’re from outer space when we ask for carb counts. They aren’t a chain, so we can’t get for sure carb counts. So we get on our app and look for similar foods. For example, when we ate at an ice cream shop in Pigeon Forge we just looked up “peanut butter cup ice cream” and looked at the carb counts of a few different options. We took the most common count, bolused for it and hoped for the best!

29 22 vacation island ice cream

We always figure if we’re way off, we can always correct for it… eat more if we over-calculated and he goes low or give more insulin if we under-calculated and he goes high.


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