How does eating out affect weight?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

A typical restaurant meal can add up to 1000 to 2000 calories. If you eat out regularly the additional calorie intake can certainly affect your weight. Many restaurants are offering nutrient information either on their website or at the restaurant. It is helpful if you can do a little homework to check out your best food choices at the restaurant before ordering your meal. Remember that you are the customer, so if you state a preference on food preparation or substitutions, most restaurants will abide by your request, you just have to ask.

Americans now eat a third of their meals away from home, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) research. As that number has climbed, so has our weight. Restaurant and fast-food fare tends to be higher in calories, fat, and sodium than home cooking.

Make cooking a priority. It's one of the best things you can do for your weight. When you do eat out, choose simply prepared foods, such as salads and steamed or sautéed veggies, with dressing on the side.

Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.