Occasional indulgences are not the problem.
What is: We are eating out more and more often—over a 40-year period from 1970 to 2010, we nearly doubled the percentage of calories we get from food away from home. And we are all too often unaware of how many calories are in the dishes we eat. A study of fast-food eaters in Philadelphia and Baltimore in the United States found that they underestimated their meal by up to 400 calories!
Restaurant meals tend to be higher in calories, saturated fat, and sodium than homemade meals, and lower in calcium, fibre, and other weight-friendly nutrients. I’m not saying you should never eat out—far from it—but one of the kindest things we could do for our waists and our overall health would be to eat out less often.
If you’re in the habit of always grabbing a bagel on the way in to work, stock up instead on pre-made bagels.
If you like a big sandwich for lunch, bring your own turkey sub. You get the idea. And when you do eat out, look for entrées that are grilled or baked, not fried or smothered in sauce, and for side dishes that pile on the veggies (again, you’re looking for steamed, sautéed, or otherwise simply prepared vegetables).