Do you like to eat out? Do you think you eat too much when you eat out? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone.
A few facts about eating out in America
The average American eats out 4-5 times weekly, spending an average of $12 per meal. The average restaurant or fast food meal provides 1200-1400 calories. Since most of us need to lose weight, this one meal of 1200 calories equals 67% to 100% of what we may need in an entire day! A healthier meal would provide 500-600 calories total.
How can you start to make changes? Follow the 4 tips below and get an early start on your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and save money:
1. Cut portions in half! A healthy portion at any restaurant is about half of what is typically served. In the 60’s, a healthy portion for an adult at McDonald’s was a small fry, a small hamburger and a small drink. In other words, a healthy portion for an adult was a Kids Meal. At 600 calories, it still is a healthy portion for an adult (even if the foods aren’t the healthiest)! You can save money and your health by: sharing a meal with your companion or ordering a few individual items, like soup and a salad, rather than ordering a whole meal. Or order off a “light” menu if available.
2. Stop drinking your calories. One of the healthiest habits you could get into is ordering a non-caloric beverage with your meal, like water. The average beverage provides 400 calories and adds significantly to the cost of the meal.
3. Avoid the extras. Did you know the average appetizer is 800 – 2300 calories? Dessert is typically 500-800 calories. If you really love the pie or other dessert, consider occasionally just getting dessert for your meal!
4. Focus on the enjoyment of eating. Many people eat out partly to experience the ambiance and pleasure of good food in an attractive setting with company. Choose a restaurant because you like their food and plan how to cut your portions in half. Then slow down, relax and enjoy eating less because it is delicious, it is enough, and you are with friends.
For more tips about improving your health, join one of our weight loss classes starting soon at the Topeka Pharmacy!