It’s nice to grab a bite to eat. You don’t have to go grocery shopping or clean up after cooking. But all those meals outside your home could be adding inches to your waistline. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eating one meal out of the house each week can lead to two pounds of weight gain per year. That means you could potentially pack on 10 pounds of extra weight in just five years. 

With most Americans dining or taking out a third of the time, it’s difficult to escape this health trap. So here’s some advice when heading out for your next meal. 

Food establishments with more than 20 locations are required to post calories on their menu. That’s so you can make an informed decision about what you put in your mouth. 

If you’re splurging on a high-calorie dish, consider saving half for later. 

Side dishes can be delicious, but may also contain added sodium and sugars. 

Steamed, grilled, or broiled vegetables and fruit are often lower-calorie options.

Asking for sauces or salad dressings on the side lets you choose how much to use.

Calories from beverages can add up quickly. With nutrition information available, look for lower-calorie options.

Foods described with words like creamy, fried, breaded, battered, or buttered are typically higher in calories than foods described as baked, roasted, steamed, grilled, or broiled. 

And another bonus tip, if you know where you’ll be dining, check the menu beforehand. You’ll be less likely to make an unhealthy, on-the-fly choice.

For more information, visit the FDA’s website, or follow the organization on Twitter or Facebook.