Slash calories when eating out

Last updated 12:29 12/12/2013
BE SMART: Have your cake ... and tartar ... and seafood platter; just skip the bread basket and post-meal latte.

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Chances are you are enjoying dinner out at least once a week.

While there are healthier choices on most menus, what we often forget is that the very nature of restaurant eating means that we are likely to be consuming many more calories than we would if we prepared a similar meal at home.

In fact, a relatively simple restaurant meal could easily set you back more than 1500 calories over an hour or two. So, if you eat out regularly, becoming more aware of where the extra calories are may be the key to preventing restaurant eating weight gain.

1. One slice of sourdough with olive oil to start - 400 calories

Who can resist fresh bread when it is served, but dip it lavishly in olive oil and vinegar and you have a meal worth of calories before you even start ordering from the menu.

Slash calories by enjoying the crust of the bread or avoiding dipping your bread in oil. Calories saved = 320.

2. Glass of wine - 100 calories

Even if you just have one small glass of vino with your meal, you are still adding in 80-100 calories that need to be counted.

Slash calories by sipping your wine slowly and limiting intake to one to two glasses per meal.

3. Salt and pepper squid - 200 calories

Many types of seafood are cooked using plenty of oil, which significantly increases the calorie content.

Slash calories by choosing a fresh salad or seafood starter. Calories saved = 100.

4. Piece of salmon with a side of beans dressed in butter - 600 calories

Just a 200-gram piece of Atlantic salmon will set you back more than 400 calories and that is without any vegetable sides or fried potatoes, which can give another 200-300 calories per serve.

Slash calories by ordering white fish and ask for vegetables to be served without the butter. Calories saved = 300.

5. Creme Brulee - 200 calories

Depending on the dessert choice, you will be adding at least 200 calories, even for a small cream-based dessert, and up to 400-500 calories for rich cakes, tortes and puddings.

Slash calories by always sharing dessert or looking for light options such as biscotti, an affogato or single scoop of gelato. Calories saved = 100.

5. Cappuccino - 60 calories

A lavish meal is often followed by coffee, and if your preference is for milk-based coffee you can easily add in another 60-100 calories to your meal total.

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Slash calories by choosing herbal tea, a long black or macchiato to finish your meal. Calories saved = 60

Total = 1560 calories

Revised = 880 calories

- Sydney Morning Herald


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