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How to avoid excess calories when eating at a restaurant

Updated on June 12, 2016

Restaurant meals tend to be fairly large and you will naturally be tempted to add a few drinks and a desert to your meal. This coupled with the fact that you’re enjoying yourself without paying attention to what you’re eating, means that before you even realize, you will have already taken in a large amount of calories.

However, all of this can be avoided by simply gaining some self-awareness and learning a few basic tips that will allow you to enjoy your meals at the restaurant without losing your battle with the extra pounds:

1. Refrain from ordering too many drinks

Restaurants make large profits from selling soft drinks or soda to clients; therefore, they are interested in serving them to you. Avoid the temptation of giving in to the waiter’s suggestions; instead, ask for a glass of water. Soft drinks, milkshakes and coffee each contain a certain number of calories. By ordering a few glasses of any of these drinks, you could easily add an extra 100 calories to your meal without realizing it.

2. Avoid ordering very large portion sizes.

Taking advantage of a special offer will not be worth the money, if it will sabotage your weight loss goals. Always order a bit less than what you think you would normally eat. If you have inadvertently ordered a portion that is too large, split it in half with your companion.


3. Ignore the bread and biscuits.

You will notice there is a bread or biscuits basket on the table of most restaurants. Unless your enjoyment of the meal fully depends on having it along with bread, it’s best to resist the temptation. An average slice of bread contains around 60-80 calories (depending on the variety) and this can quickly add up.

4. Eat at a slow, steady pace.

When you’re eating really fast, you’re not only forgetting to actually enjoy the specific flavors of the food, but you are also giving up control over how much you’re eating. However, if you’re really taking your time and enjoying every mouthful, you will become aware of your own level of satiety and you’ll be able to stop eating before you’re too full to have another bite.

5. Don’t shy away from packing any excess food.

If you feel that you’re full already, don’t push yourself to empty the plate. Instead, ask for a brown paper bag and take away the excess food, so that you can eat it later at home. This will not only save you money, but it will also prevent you from having too many calories for one meal.

These are just some basic tips that can help you avoid excess calories when eating at a restaurant without giving up on enjoying your meals. As with everything in life, moderation is key, especially if you want to make it easier for yourself to lose extra pounds.


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