Seven ways to cut calories when eating at a restaurant

Chatelaine health editor Laurie Jennings shares her "Do Diet" tips on eating when you're away from home. Whether you're opting for take out, or at a restaurant with friends, use these seven tips to ensure you aren't consuming too many calories:

Laurie Jennings, Tracy Moore, Cityline

Chatelaine health editor Laurie Jennings shares her “Do Diet” tips on eating when you’re away from home. Whether you’re opting for take out, or at a restaurant with friends, use these seven tips to ensure you aren’t consuming too many calories:

1. Dip your fork first. Ask for dressing on the side yes, but take it a step further. Instead of dipping your salad into the dressing, dip your fork first, and then plunge into your salad. “You get all the flavour without the calories,” she explains.

2. Make olive oil your go-to dip. Put down the butter and ask for olive oil instead when it comes to your bread (which we’re not saying don’t eat). Olive oil is full of heart-healthy benefits and will slow down your eating, ensuring you consume fewer calories over the course of your meal.

3. Think of your food in terms of the treadmill. Instead of thinking about serving sizes, like French fries for example, Jennings encourages you to think about them in terms of how long it will take you to burn them off on the treadmill. A small serving of fries will take about 30 minutes of hard cardio to burn off.

4. Order soup. Having soup before your meal will trick your brain into thinking you’re fuller faster. Called volumetrics, studies have shown that eating soup before your meal leads to 20 percent fewer calories consumed overall.

5. Ditch the bun. Save yourself the calories when ordering a burger and opt instead to eat it with a knife and fork. These days most restaurants won’t even flinch when you order your patty minus the accoutrements. Wrap it in lettuce and get better value for the meal. Try to have as few sauces as possible to further cut unneeded calories.

6. Ask for meat-free. When ordering your breakfast sandwich, lose the sausage to save yourself almost half the calories. The egg and cheese alone are enough to keep you full until lunch.

7. Treat yourself. Whether it’s once a week, a month…whatever, Jennings encourages you to treat yourself. Figure out how it works into your fitness and health profile and celebrate you – just not every day!

To see the full Chatelaine Day episode click here.

Clip courtesy of Cityline