Is your kitchen filled with more restaurant menus than actual food? Welcome to the club: The average American orders takeout three days a week, according to a recent survey conducted by CouponCodes4U.com.
For the online poll, researchers asked 2,503 participants about their takeout habits. Most of the people surveyed said they didn't have time to prepare entire meals from scratch, while others said they had no interest in cooking (a few said they didn't even know how to cook). So it's no surprise that people ordered out so often—but indulging in takeout too frequently can wreak havoc on your waistline.
Previous research has found that restaurant meals typically contain two to three times the calories you should be taking in at each meal—which may be why 72 percent of people in the survey said they were overweight.
Many restaurants serve huge portions, says Brooke Alpert, RD, founder of B Nutritious, who was not part of the survey. That means you end up consuming more salt, sugar, fat, and calories—basically everything you need for a diet disaster.
Totally bummed right about now? You don't have to give up your takeout favorites altogether. By making at-home versions, you'll have complete control over what you put into your meals and how much you serve yourself—so you save a ton of calories. Bonus: Cooking often takes the same amount of time—or sometimes even less time—than waiting around for delivery to get to your door.
The next time you're craving one of these foods—the top five that people in the survey said they ordered—whip up something healthier instead. These recipes slash an average of 315 calories per meal—which comes to 945 calories a week if you're ditching a three-times-a-week takeout habit.
Try This Instead: Veggie Pizza
You'll Save: 126 calories, 10.8 g of fat, and 15 mg of sodium
*Compared to one slice of Pizza Hut's veggie 14" large pan pizza
Try This Instead: Chili Spiced Turkey Bean Burgers with Guacamole
You'll Save: 770 calories, 56 g of fat, and 1,300 mg of sodium
*Compared to the Guacamole Bacon Six-Dollar Burger at Carl's Jr.
|Takeout Asian Food|
Try This Instead: Orange Chicken with Green Tea Rice
You'll Save: 468 calories, 20 g of fat, and 635 mg of sodium
*Compared to an order of Orange Chicken and Steamed Brown Rice from Panda Express
|Takeout Fried Chicken|
Try This Instead: Baked Chicken Fingers
You'll Save: 46 calories, 14.5 g of fat, and 208 mg of sodium
*Compared to three Extra Crispy Tenders from KFC.
Try This Instead: Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich
You'll Save: 167 calories, 6 g of fat, and 552 mg of sodium
*Compared to a Tuna Salad Sandwich on Honey Wheat from Panera Bread.