By Alexa Joy Sherman
For most busy couples -- especially those with children -- restaurants and take-out fare are a major sanity saver. But you tend to indulge significantly more when you order from a restaurant than you do when you cook for yourself. A study conducted at Tufts University in Boston found that people who ate restaurant food more than three times a week consumed nearly 32 percent more calories than those who ate out less than once a week.SLIMMING SOLUTION: Limit restaurant visits and overhaul your orders.
Eat out only once a week and order carefully, suggests Megan A. McCrory, PhD, lead author of the Tufts study. At a Mexican restaurant, start with gazpacho and share chicken fajitas with your husband (go heavy on low-calorie salsa and easy on sour cream and guacamole). Pondering pizza? Order a side salad with light dressing, and limit yourself to one slice of thin-crust with lots of veggies. With Japanese cuisine, have miso soup followed by one or two sushi rolls (one roll has six pieces). Stick to plain fish and veggie rolls that don't contain mayo, cream cheese, or fried ingredients (and watch out for "new wave" rolls with fatty meats like beef, sausage, and duck). Sashimi, which is just fish, is always a safe bet. If you order an entree at a typical American restaurant, ask your waiter to wrap up half your meal before it's served and take it home, suggests Dr. Katz. Then have it for lunch the next day.