A recent study from the University of Arkansas found that when eating out, the average diner underestimates his or her calorie count by up to 93 percent! This actually doubles our calorie intake and can create havoc with our waistlines depending upon how often we eat out. Americans spend approximately $500 billion or nearly half of their total food budget eating out. So how can we make better choices? Split your meal with a friend or family member. Most restaurants serve portions that are two to three times what we need! Otherwise, have the serving staff put half of the meal in a to-go box before it is brought to the table. Avoid all the extras, as these calories add up quickly: rolls and butter, sweetened and/or alcoholic drinks, appetizers, side items and desserts. Instead focus on a healthy balance of lean proteins, low fat carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables/salads. Every tablespoon of mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, and oil contains about 100 calories. Ask for salad dressings and toppings for potatoes, veggies, and fish on the side. Watch out for the oversized buns covered in cheese, special sauces and mayo, and all of a sudden you have a burger with four times the amount of calories as a 9-ounce sirloin.