Appetizers and rolls are the first reason why eating out is bad for your health. When you cook at home, you usually do not prepare additional appetizers to eat before the main course because it is more work, but waiters at a restaurant push the appetizers, which can easily add an additional 500+ calories to your meal depending on what you order and how much you eat, just so that they can cushion their tip and make the restaurant more money. Restaurants also provide free rolls with butter. Eating two rolls can add another 300 calories to your meal.
A seemingly healthy salad is the next disastrous course when eating out. A salad by itself is healthy, but many restaurants will add croutons, bacon bits, cheese, and fatty dressings to the lettuce and a couple other vegetables. The result is enough fat to fulfil your fat content for the entire day. If you're going to indulge in a salad, avoid the croutons altogether and opt for apple cider or balsamic vinegar or oil and vinaigrette.
Between the appetizer, rolls, salad, and first round of drinks most people have already consumed more than they ever would by cooking a meal at home. The problem is that all of these items are pushed by the waiter or their eating companions, making it even more difficult for someone struggling with their diet to say no.
The main course finally comes and you thought you ordered something healthy, fish, and steamed veggies, but what they don't mention on the menu is that vegetables are almost always soaked in butter and the fish is covered with a high calorie sauce to disguise the fact that it has been overcooked.
The problem with eating out is that everything is so readily available...