Smart Food Choices
People dining out
When people go out to eat, they often underestimate the calories they are taking in by about 94 percent, says David Zinczenko, co-author of the Eat This, Not That! series of books. David, who is also the editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, investigates the nutritional data of restaurant and grocery store foods and finds healthy alternatives to your calorie-laden favorites. He shares some tips you should keep in mind that will help you make smarter food choices and trim inches from your waistline.
Child eating cereal
Pay Attention to Cereal Ingredients
In his book Eat This, Not That for Kids!, David writes about the many cereals marketed toward children that are loaded with sugar and have very little fiber and other nutritional value. If your child's favorite cereal falls into this category, swap it for a multigrain alternative, he says.
Bagel with cream cheese
Rethink Your Breakfast Choices
If you reach for a bagel and cream cheese in the morning, consider swapping it for an egg, ham and cheese sandwich, David says. "A bagel and cream cheese, the way it is often served to you, can have 500 or 600 calories," he says. "Where at McDonald's, an Egg McMuffin with Canadian ham and cheese is 300 [calories]," he says.
Woman with popcorn
Cut 150 Calories a Day
Cutting 150 calories out of your diet every day may not seem like a huge amount, but David says it adds up. "In the course of a week, that is over 1,000 calories," he says. "You do that over the course of a month, and then year—that is now 15 or 18 pounds of fat."
People reading a menu
Check Nutritional Facts at Restaurants
Ask your server or cashier for the nutritional information of menu items at chain and fast food restaurants. If that information is not available, David says you are at a huge disadvantage. "The studies do show that you make healthier decisions when you have the [nutritional] information at the time of purchase," David says.

More tips from Eat This, Not That