Over the previous few many years, the quantity of food Americans eat away from house has elevated from 18 % to 33 %.
At the similar time, restaurant meals with outsized parts have grow to be a serious contributor to the nation’s weight problems epidemic. While a lot of the blame has been aimed toward fast-food locations, these aren’t the solely eating places to supersize parts.
A research executed at Tufts University discovered that meals from non-chain eating places averaged 1,200 calories, about the similar as choices from the giant chains. And meals from three of the hottest cuisines — American, Italian and Chinese — tallied even greater, near 1,500 calories.
With 92 % of restaurant meals delivering extra calories than wanted in a single sitting, it’s fairly straightforward to realize weight.
Half of all U.S. eating places are particular person institutions or a part of a sequence sufficiently small to be exempt from having to offer dietary info — reminiscent of calorie counts — so that you’re on your personal for making cautious decisions.
Here are steps you possibly can take.
First, be careful for the freebies, akin to any tasty bites from the chef introduced as you sit down, in addition to a bottomless bread basket. Dipping bread in olive oil somewhat than spreading on butter cuts out saturated fats, however not calories, so skip it if you wish to spend these calories elsewhere.
Ask questions on how dishes are made, and keep away from elements that make it onerous to eyeball portion sizes, like cheese, butter and cream. Better but, ask what you possibly can order with none fats and breading.
Preparation could make even low-cal greens much less virtuous. Baked or steamed is all the time higher than sauteed and fried.
Finally, stability out indulgent restaurant meals by consuming more healthy meals at residence. If you eat out lots, you may need to make your kitchen a snack- and dessert-free zone.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has an in depth tip sheet on ordering healthier restaurant meals course-by-course.