It's no mystery why weight gain is a slow but steady process when you compare what most of us eat to what the government recommends for maintaining a healthy weight.
The Department of Health says, for example, that a 35-year-old woman who exercises less than 30 minutes a day should consume no more than 1800 calories a day and 60 grams of fat. A man of the same age with little activity should eat no more than 2400 calories and 80 grams of fat. Yet a fast food lunch may contain more than a day's worth of fat and calories.
For example, Nutritionist Marjorie Freedman, Ph.D., points to a hamburger and says, "This Carl's Junior six dollar burger will probably cost a lot more in doctor bills because this has 1520 calories and a whopping 111 grams of fat."
Dr. Freedman says you can do the same math with similar meals. She also says that a big mistake we often make is to order a salad to "be good". But a specialty cobb salad, for example, can contain more than a thousand calories and about 75 grams of fat.
If you have a favorite meal that you would like to check the calorie count of, Freedman says that most places offer nutrition information in the restaurant or you can usually find it online.
Some helpful hints: