How many calories are you really eating at restaurants? Everywhere you turn there are delicious dishes that turn out to be calorie bombs in disguise. A 2016 study by Tufts researchers found that 92% of 364 restaurant meals — from both large-chain and “non chain” restaurants — serve up more calories than the average person needs in a single meal.
Get this: The researchers found that meals at nonchain restaurants averaged 1,205 calories! (Nonchain restaurants are those with fewer than 20 locations, so they are not required to provide calorie information under the menu labeling law adopted in 2010.) Large-chain restaurants had roughly the same stats. To help you understand how many calories you’re getting, we’ve compiled stats from the study and other sources in this handy infographic. There are some tips to help you order up (just not in calories!).
Trinh Le is a registered dietitian for MyFitnessPal. She holds her master’s in public health, nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Trinh is a proponent of balancing food and exercise for a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys hiking, strength training, yoga, running and fidgeting