Ditch Takeout to Drop Pounds: Discover Which Restaurant Meals Are Making Us Round!

Controlling your weight is a battle that many of us face, especially with the rising global obesity rates. In England, researchers have identified one of the worst culprits when it comes to fattening foods: takeout. With most people having access to an average of 32 different food-to-go options every day, it’s essential to understand how our choices can impact our waistlines and overall health. If you want to lose or maintain your weight, it might be time to rethink that takeout habit.

The Takeout Trap

Why is takeout food so problematic for our health and weight management? There are several factors at play:

Calorie Overload

Takeout portions are often much larger than what we would eat in a home-cooked meal. Research has shown that people tend to eat more when presented with larger portions, so it’s easy to consume significantly more calories than our bodies need.1

Unhealthy Ingredients and Preparation

Many takeout options are prepared with unhealthy ingredients, such as large amounts of saturated fats, sodium, and sugars. These ingredients not only contribute to obesity but can also lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.2

Lack of Nutritional Balance

Takeout meals are often heavily focused on processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, with little emphasis on the nutritional balance our bodies need. This results in a lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can negatively impact your overall well-being.

Make Healthier Choices

While it’s best to avoid takeout food as much as possible, the reality is that busy schedules can make it difficult to avoid entirely. However, there are ways to make healthier choices when you do opt for takeout:

Plan Ahead

By planning your meals ahead of time, you can avoid last-minute decisions that often lead to opting for unhealthy takeout options. Create a meal plan and grocery list that includes healthier alternatives and schedule time for meal preparation.

Choose Healthier Options

When you do decide to go for takeout, opt for places that offer healthier alternatives. Focus on meals with a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. Skip the fried options, limit your portion sizes, and avoid sugary beverages.

Customize Your Order

Most takeout restaurants are happy to accommodate special requests and substitutions. For instance, ask for grilled chicken instead of fried or request a side salad instead of fries. Making these minor tweaks to your order can significantly reduce the calorie count and improve the nutritional value of your meal.

Cook More at Home

One of the best ways to avoid the takeout trap is to cook more meals at home. Home-cooked meals tend to be healthier and have significantly fewer calories than takeout counterparts. Here are a few tips to make cooking at home more accessible and enjoyable:

Start Simple

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to create delicious and healthy meals at home. Start with simple recipes that require minimal ingredients and preparation time. As you become more comfortable in the kitchen, begin experimenting with new ingredients and techniques.

Batch Cooking

Preparing large portions of your favorite healthy meals can save you time throughout the week. Investing in quality food storage containers or meal prep containers can help make this process even more accessible, allowing you to grab-and-go with premade meals instead of turning to takeout.

Get Creative with Leftovers

Using leftovers in creative ways can help prevent boredom and reduce waste. For example, you can use leftover vegetables and protein sources to create salads, wraps, or stir-fries. This can help keep your home-cooked meals fresh and exciting, reducing the appeal of takeout options.

The Bottom Line

Takeout food is a major contributor to weight gain and poor health, but it doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all of your eating habits. By making smarter choices, planning ahead, and embracing home cooking, you can avoid the pitfalls of the takeout trap and maintain a healthier life.