Guess what? Eating out leads to weight gain.
In fact, the USDA calculated that for each weekly meal outside the home, we gain 2 pounds of body weight annually.
Here are two more interesting facts:
- About 30% of our total calories are consumed outside the home.
- This is double what it was just 30 years ago.
Why is eating out so hazardous to our waistline?
Mostly because portion sizes are much bigger today than in the past.
Restaurant owners know that consumers optimize value for money. And more food means more value.
Or does it?
Bigger portions equal more calories. And since restaurants are a business, they don’t necessarily invest in the healthier calories, but rather the cheapest ones that taste good. Lots of fat, sugar and sodium.
The USDA found that there are not enough veggies in a restaurant dinner compared to a home cooked meal. And eating out for breakfast will not add a sufficient amount of whole grains to your diet compared to home.
Calorie labeling on menus, while still a recent phenomenon, has not made a significant dent in our consumption habits.
So, what will it take for us to either
a) eat more home cooked meals, or
b) get chefs and cooks to prepare healthier meals for us when we eat out?