I remember when eating out at a restaurant was a very special occasion that happened may be 2 or 3 times a year – and when we did, it was a small, home town cafe. It was high living when we went to visit my brother who was in the Air Force and we had Thanksgiving dinner at a Howard Johnson’s – that was like royalty!

For most people today, eating out is neither exotic nor much of an event. In fact, eating out regularly seems to have become part of nearly everyone’s daily routine. Overextended, time-crunched Americans increasingly rely on restaurants and take-out shops, and some kids practically grow up in fast-food restaurants or on take-out food.

In 1955 Americans spent 19% of their food dollar on food prepared outside the home – today that figure is over 50% and still climbing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that we’re spending more than $122 billion annually at restaurants and cafeterias, including $118 billion at fast-food restaurants.

One of the many problems is that slick marketing campaigns gave us craving increasingly bigger and richer dishes. Restaurant meals contain 20% to 40% more fat than if we made the same meal at home. These meals are higher in sodium and cholesterol, lower in calcium, dietary fiber and iron. Restaurant meals generally contain more of the nutrients we over-consume and less of the nutrients we under-consume. Bizaro has the perfect comic of what I am writing about.

In a Chinese restaurant, a single entree of kung pao chicken with rice contains 1,600 calories, 76 grams of fat, and 2,600 milligrams of sodium. That’s more than enough fat and sodium for an entire day. And that isn’t including soup, egg roll and extra soy sauce.

In my book I teach a one-minute self-hypnosis technique. One of the many benefits of this technique is that you always have time for one-minute of hypnotherapy. One of the many benefits of hypnosis is that you can control food cravings, have an easier time making healthier choices and no longer have to clean your plate. With hypnosis, you have are more relaxed, make better use of your time and have time to prepare healthy meals.