Live Well Colorado program helps Denver diners with portion control

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DENVER -- Going out to eat is about enjoying the food, so calorie counting is the last thing you want to do.

As part of the Live Well Colorado “Take It Home” program, several area restaurants will pack half of a customer's meal in a to-go box, and serve the rest in a beautiful presentation.

Diners can then eat half the calories without any temptation to overindulge.

Tracy Boyle of Live Well Colorado says, “We have a great restaurant scene here in Denver, and we want to make sure that eating out is part of a healthy lifestyle.”

The average calorie count of many restaurant meals is between 800 to 1300 calories. So, if trying to diet or just control the calories, fat and carbohydrate consumption by kids, sticking to half portions makes sense.

Diner Macy Downs says cutting the portions before the meal arrives at the table is a great idea since it’s only human nature to want to clean the plate.

She adds, "Your mind just wants to consume all of it. [It's] a natural habit, so I think it is a good idea to portion it out.”

Racine's restaurant is one of the first to participate in the program.

Restaurant spokesperson Lee Goodfriend says they’re happy to divide anything on the menu, but has some advice for preserving salads.

“If you order a salad, do not put the dressing on, take part of it home,” he says.

Other restaurants participating in the program include Elway’s in Cherry Creek, Sams No. 3 locations and Osteria Marco in Larimer Square.

It's not required to follow the program every time you eat out, but cutting portion size, even a few times a month, can make a difference.

For more information about the program, visit