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How to Save Calories When Going Out

What Your Weekend Indulgences Are Costing You

You've conquered another week filled with healthy diet choices and workouts, and now you're ready for your well-deserved weekend. While resting and relaxing should be part of any weekend, make sure you don't undo the previous five days' goodness with a whirlwind of high-calorie choices. Here's an idea of just how much an indulgent three days can cost you.

Friday: Happy Hour
To unwind after work, you decide to get together with friends for a glass of merlot (119 calories). An hour later, hunger sets in, so you order a side of french fries (281 calories in 10 fries) and mozzarella sticks (330 calories in three pieces). Your weekend has just begun, and you've already indulged in 730 calories before dinnertime.

Solution: Letting loose can mean the calories add up fast, so go to happy hour with an idea of how you want to save calories. Opt for low-calorie spirits and high-protein, nonfried snack options to unwind and curb hunger without racking up the calories. Find out more tips on saving calories during happy hour here.

Saturday: Girls' Night
A night on the town can turn into thousands of unwanted calories. Starting with a slice of buttered bread from the bread basket (136 calories), moving to your
main meal — which studies have shown average at 1,128 calories — and ending with a night of two or three vodka tonics (175 calories each) means that by the time you kick off your heels, you've consumed almost a day's worth of calories (1,789) in a few hours.

Solution: Have a healthy snack like a piece of fruit or a yogurt when you're getting ready to help curb hunger and ensure you won't devour the bread basket, and then look for healthy options (read: grilled, broiled, or steamed) for your entrée. Keep serious count of how much you've been drinking at dinner — enjoying wine with your meal is great, but it can be easy to forget about all those calories when you move from the restaurant to the bar. Stick with water, or savor one glass throughout your meal. Read more tips on saving calories when dining at a restaurant here.

Sunday: Brunch
There's nothing like enjoying a sunny day with a group of friends over brunch, but that midday meal can cost you. Craving french toast? That'll be 498 calories. Sipping on two cups of coffee with cream and sugar over your meal? Another 154 calories. Add a Bloody Mary, and you've added another 125 calories. Total for your relaxing Sunday meal? 777 calories.

Solution: If you're not ready to sit down to that many calories in one meal, then make a few healthy swaps — like opting for berry pancakes with Greek yogurt and skipping the sugar and cream (or at least one) in your coffee — to make your brunch a little bit healthier. Every little bit helps; find more of our smart brunch swaps here!

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