The average American spends $812 eating out a year and over $2000 per household. Back in 1955 25% of every food dollar was spent in restaurants while today it is almost 50% of ever food dollar. Since 1955 the percentage of overweight individual has doubled from 30% to 60% in 2000.
Fast food restaurants have moved to larger version of hamburgers, fries and drinks. The average fast food hamburger’s size in 1957 was 1 ounce and had 210 calories. In 2002 it was 6 ounces and had 618 calories. Popcorn in 1957 was 3 cups and had 170 calories where as in 2002 it was 16 cups and 900 calories. The average 20oz soft drink has 250 calories. I know back in my home town some of the most popular restaurants are buffets.
It is important to adopt a strategy even before going to a restaurant. It is always a good idea to research the menus online for chain restaurants. You can usually find the dishes to avoid and those with lowest calories.
Some strategies to keep calories lower:
- Remove half your portion
- Share entrée
- Order only appetizer
- Fill up on lower-calorie item before dinner
- Eat larger meals at home so you aren’t as hungry
- Get dressing on side. Use sparingly.
- Forgo mayonnaise on sandwich
- Eat slowly
- Chew each bite 50 times
- Put down fork between bites
Look for these terms on menu for lower calories:
- Cooked in own juices
Avoid these high fat items:
- Au Gratin
Eating out doesn’t have to be a disaster to your diet if you are careful and plan accordingly beforehand.