Just read a very interesting article titled, "Navigating Restaurant Menus" in the IDEA Fitness Journal. It had some shocking statistics about eating out. One thing that I found intersting was that just one meal at a restaurant adds an average of 134 calories to your daily energy intake. So, if you eat out once a week, you could gain 2 pounds per year. The article also stated that most Americans eat out an average of 5.8 times per week! With that in mind, it would help to have some strategies to eat healthy while dining out. The article had some great suggestions. For example, you can visit a website called www.HealthyDiningFinder.com which is a dietician driven website that sorts name brand restaurants by zip code and identifies healthful menu choices. Another suggestions was to set goals like not eating any restaurant desserts for a week or ordering a side of vegetables at all dine-out dinners for a month. Certain words on the menu cue you to know that items are less healthy. Words such as battered, buttery, scalloped, crispy, creamed, creamy, fried, rich, in cheese sauce, hollandaise, bearnaise, tempura, with gravy, au gratin, Alfredo, breaded, croquettes, a la king, Newburg, and deep fried. Another concern for eating out is the portion sizes. Consider sharing an entree with a friend or taking half home with you. The article listed many more great ideas for healthy eating out. I've saved it to my library if you want to read the whole thing. It is a busy time of year, and eating out is something we often do when in a hurry. Just make sure you are making the right choices to avoid those excess and unwanted calories!