Friday, May 12, 2023

Eating At Restaurants And Weight Gain

The Study

The average American consumes 3 meals per week at restaurants. These meals are usually nutritionally inferior to what would be cooked at home. In this investigation, nearly 100,000 U.S. adults from The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Cohort had their weight and restaurant visits measured over a 3 year period.

Here is what they found:

Subjects who maintained their number of fast food and full-service restaurant visits gained weight over the 3 years.

Subjects who reduced their level of fast food and full-service restaurant visits had a statistically significant weight loss over the 3 years.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2023; 117:392-401.

Take Home Message

This is a really simple study with a powerful message: Eat out less if you are trying to lose weight.

Restaurant meals are almost always higher in fat, sugar, salt and calories than food prepared at home. Keep in mind that a chef’s goal is to make food taste good, not to make it as healthy as possible.

I give my clients 2 cheat meals a week to go off their diets. A great strategy is to save your restaurant trips for these splurge meals. The rest of the time, cook healthy meals at home. You’ll be surprised how much this can influence your rate of weight loss.

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