Experts contend that Americans gobble 1500 calories/day more than necessary. Fewer home–cooked meals and the supersize mentality both have fueled the overload. In fact, average Americans consume about 33% of calories from restaurants, which in the past 20 years have increased portions well beyond recommended serving sizes.

Guard yourself from gluttony with these simple modifications:

  • Slow down. Studies show wolfing down your meal triggers overeating. Try to sit at a table and be mindful of each bite. Chew deliberately to savor eating as an experience rather than a chore or something to get done on the run to something else.
  • Stay home. Evidence suggests restaurants subliminally prompt you to gorge and bolt. Bright décor can heighten anticipation and cue your appetite while cranked–up music over–stimulates the senses, stirring you to snap for the check. Stay in control and have a better experience by dining in. Cook your favorite dish, light a candle, and play soft background music for a conversation–friendly environment. If you do head out, choose off–peak hours and a quiet place; request a booth — they’re more comfortable than chairs and tend to be on the perimeter rather than in the hub of activity.
  • Try these tips. Watch portions; it’s easier if you use smaller plates. Cut a chicken breast in half, use a tablespoon to scoop smaller side dishes, and wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds — it can take that long to feel full. Split entrées with your meal mate, or save some for

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