The average American, who should consume about 2,000 calories a day, eats out six times a week. That’s enough to lead to over-consuming calories not just on the days a person eats out, but also to exceed calorie requirements over the course of the whole week. One study found that women who eat out more than five times a week consume about 290 more calories on average each day than women who eat out less often.
Big portions in restaurants mean we often get a lot more food than we realize, or than we may want or need. It’s tough to accurately estimate the calorie content of popular restaurant foods, even for dietitians. Who can tell that a cinnamon roll (510 calories) has more than double the calories in a glazed donut (220), or that a typical tuna salad sandwich has almost 50 percent more calories (720) than a roast beef sandwich (460)?