Eating Out & Staying on Track

Eating Out & Staying on Track

Barry Kerrigan |

You know the feeling: you wake up after a night in a quality restaurant and despite how amazing it was there's a slight feeling of guilt. "Why did I get the extra portion of chips" you ask yourself...relax, we all deserve to let the hair down and enjoy a night out without feeling like we've done something horribly wrong. However, there are a few things you can do to help stay somewhat on track while still not freaking out because the menu doesn't list the calories. 

Say 'No' to the bread basket.

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Oh lord, it's just so tempting. You sit down in the restaurant, having starved yourself all day, when the waiter arrives with a basket of warm artisan bread and a plate of creamy butter. How can you resist! Don't do it. For one you'll ruin your meal when you eat 6 slices of bread but also butter has a very high  calorie count. Fat contains 9 calories for every 1g and for every 100 grams of butter there is 81 grams of fat. You do the math. A few generous lashing with your butter knife could have 100 calories and leaving you full even before your spring rolls arrive.


Get 2 starters...

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It seems we're getting more like American restaurants with huge portions for both starters and mains. Take advantage of this by ordering a starter for both courses. Not only will you save on both calories and your wallet, you'll make everyone jealous with your 2nd portion of buffalo wings.


Dressing on the side of your salad, not mixed in.

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This is a handy little trick. If you're getting a salad request the dressing on the side, not mixed in. Dressings can be really calorie heavy (for example, french dress has 475 calories per 100g) and when it's on the side you can control your intake. Dip in your salad as you please!


Get extra veg and less chips.

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We all love getting a portion of chips for the table. Try avoid this and ask for extra vegetables. If you can reduce the amount of chips or even rice you intake and increase your root vegetable you'll feel just as full, get the extra goodness from the veg and reduce your calorie intake. Oh and don't think you're being extra healthy eating sweet potato fries. A side order at a restaurant yields about 350-450 calories, 20 grams fat, and 50 grams of carbohydrate.


Feel full? Take advantage of the doggie bag.

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Must. Finish. Every. you don't. If your main course arrives and straight away you say "How will I finish this?", aim eat half and take half home in a doggie bag. Restaurants are more than happy to accommodate this and you'll have a delicious lunch in the fridge the next day. The trick is to say it to yourself before you even start your dish. This way you won't have the guilt of leaving a quarter of a steak on the plate.


Having a couple of drinks? Skip the cocktails.

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It can be really tempting to grab that cocktail menu and order the sweetest, tastiest tipple available. But beware, cocktails are usually bubbling over with sugar which isn't great for the waistline. If you must dabble in the art replace that Long Island ice tea (420 calories) with a cosmopolitan (100 calories). If you can avoid the cocktails altogether aim for gin & slimline tonic to save on the calories and avoid the painful hangover you get from mixing drinks. Or even better, don't drink at all!


We have to say it...Skip the dessert.

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Okay it's a bit of a no-brainer for anyone looking to avoid calories on their night out. But when you see a double chocolate fudge brownie on the menu it can be just too tempting. If you must give in get one dessert and spoons for everyone on the table. Okay, you might be up against it convincing your mates to do this but you'll find that a couple of bites is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and you'll save massively in the calorie department.


These are just helpful tips if you're heading out a lot. If you're going out for a treat the only tip we can give is to make sure you enjoy yourself. The calories can wait until the morning.

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