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How many calories does that restaurant meal have, anyway?

I ‘m not a calorie counter.  I don’t teach it or preach it.  But if you eat out often it is important to realize that the average caloric value of a meal in a restaurant is 1,000 calories.  1000 CALORIES!!   For most of us, that is half of what we require for an entire day – all in one meal.  Mamma mia! That’s a lot of calories (and saturated fats and sodium).  If your weight is trending up and you eat out frequently then you may want to reconsider your options.

There are many reasons to eat out but if you are doing it regularly and putting on weight then there is a quick answer as to how to stop the weight gain if not lose weight;  eat more meals at home.   There are so many reasons to prepare your meals at home but in the spirit of a brevity, I’ll save that for a different post.  Deliciously simple recipes are available that support making meals at home not be as cumbersome as one might envision.  A little  planning can go a long way if you are willing to make your meals at home:

  • Note:   if you are used to eating out you are used to large portion sizes – scale back portions at home too!
  • Start out simple with a few quick recipes that appeal to you.
  • Keep those ingredients on hand.
  • A meal doesn’t have to be complex!  Some eggs, cheese and a few fresh vegetables can turn into a delicious, tasteful affair!
  • Try it out as an experiment several times…see how it goes and evaluate how it might be easier to pull off next time.

If you choose to eat out try these tips:

  • Order half of your entree on the plate and the other half in a to-go container.
  • Consider splitting an entree with your dining buddy.
  • Order from the ‘lighter’ menu.
  • Practice not eating all of the meal you are served – it’s okay to leave food on your plate.
  • Drink a tall glass of water half an hour before your meal.
  • Try restaurants that focus on healthier foods/smaller portions.
  • Skip the desserts and drinks which can add hundreds of calories to your meal.
  • Avoid ordering fried foods.
  • Order chicken versus steaks or burgers

Bon Appetit!

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