Dining out can sabotage your weight loss plan; in fact, research supports people who dine out more than twice weekly tend to hold an additional 10-20 pounds.
Is dining our sabotaging your weight loss success? Ali Miller, registered dietitian and nutrition expert is here to tell us about the difference of calories from restaurants and those at home, and offer tips on how to dine out without weight gain!
Wow, 10-20 pounds a year, that sounds pretty significant!
For the average consumer, eating one meal away from home each week translates to roughly two extra pounds a year. More than half of adults eat out three or more times a week, and 12 percent eat out more than seven times a week. As a result, the pounds are adding up!
Americans are eating out more than a decade ago because they have less time for cooking, longer commutes, more households where both adults work, poorer cooking skills and many more options for affordable meals out.
And these calories that we eat out may be worse for our bodies than those we consume in the home?
The calories we eat out, for a variety of hormonal and metabolic reasons, actually cause more weight gain. Foods can be fat promoting or fat fighting.
Which ones are which?
Obesity-promoting foods include sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, processed grains and trans fats — all cheap ways that restaurants add flavor. These foods lead to changes in blood sugar that cause cells to store food energy rather than burn it. Fat-fighting foods, she said, include good-quality proteins — such as unprocessed meat, chicken, fish, cheese, eggs, milk and beans — as well as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and essential fatty acids.
So what are the main reasons whey dining out can be so impactful?
Disconnection from food preparation (cooking decreases hunger and increases satiety)
When people eat out they tend to make poorer nutritional choices partly because people often associate eating out as a special occasion, or a time to splurge — even if eating out has become a routine.