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Beware of food you haven’t made yourself

More than half of us eat at least one meal away from home on any given day. But food prepared outside your own kitchen is often very high in calories, both because food purveyors often add much more fat than you would at home and because portion sizes tend to be enormous. It shows in the waistline. In a study conducted at Tufts University, the more often people ate out, the higher their calorie consumption and the fatter they were, plain and simple.

When you do eat out, really do ask the waitstaff to wrap up half, or even two thirds, of your meal before it is brought to the table. And be assertive about asking for meals exactly as you want them. Chefs can often keep out the oil or reduce portion sizes or give a bigger helping of vegetables—whatever it takes to get you through the meal with less temptation.