Lani Telian, Department of Public Health
No matter who you are, what you do for work, or where you live, one thing is for sure: you’ve eaten in a fast food restaurant more than once in your life.
Ever wonder how many calories you consume when you grab a bite to eat? Without calorie menu labels, all we can do is guess. Most people underestimate how many calories are in the meals they order by more than 600 calories! If you eat out several times a month, you could be consuming an extra 18,000 calories which can easily cause you to gain weight.
For example, a large burrito from a Mexican chain restaurant can pack as many as 1,000 calories. Most adults need 2,000 calories to maintain a healthy weight. That burrito uses up half your calories for the day! This week, the Department of Public Health launches the “Calories Count” campaign informing many of us how many calories we need each day and how to make better choices when eating away from home.
How can you eat out without all the extra calories? Just making small changes here and there can make a huge difference in your weight, for your health.
• If you order a cheeseburger, skip the large fries and drink and ask for a small fry and a diet drink or water. This switch alone can save you over 500 calories!
• Order pizza with vegetable toppings instead of meats. If you can, order thin crust rather than regular crust- between the toppings and the crust you can stop yourself from consuming an extra 300 calories.
• Grabbing something for breakfast? A croissant adds unnecessary calories, and sausage is a high-calorie food, too. Switch to ham or bacon with egg and cheese on an English muffin for half the calories.
• When ordering chicken, simply asking for it to be skinless saves 200 calories.
• Still want that burrito? Extras like guacamole, sour cream, and cheese can add unnecessary calories. Instead, ask for a small amount of cheese, lettuce, salsa, corn, and a small amount of beans.
For more information on healthy eating, eating out, and calories check out the new Eat Better pages on the Mass in Motion website.