Tips For Eating Healthy Away From Home
Eating healthy at home is hard enough, but when you’re away from your kitchen and your fridge, it’s even more difficult to maintain a healthy diet. You might not have the same access to organic produce or nutritious packaged food, and you might end up relying on fast food or restaurant meals more often than you’d like. But this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on eating healthy away from home; it just means that it will take a little extra preparation and planning
Here are some tips for eating healthy away from home.
- Start your day right with a balanced breakfast.
If you skip breakfast, your metabolism won’t get a chance to rev up in the morning, and you’ll likely be hungrier later on. A nutritious breakfast gives your body the energy it needs to start the day off right. If you’re really pressed for time, don’t skip meals altogether. Try a protein shake on the go for breakfast to keep your body fueled and your metabolism going strong.
- Set limits.
Eating out can be fun, but it can also be a drain on both your wallet and your waistline. To keep things in check, set limits for yourself. You might decide to eat out only twice a week or limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per week. If you want to splurge on one meal, make sure you cut back on calories at the other meals that day.
- Plan ahead.
Before you go out to eat, check out the restaurant’s website or call them directly to see if they have any nutritional information available. Once you know the menu options that are lower in calories, fat and sodium, you will be able to plan what you will order before you even walk through the door. This way, you won’t have to guess or make impulsive decisions while standing in line or waiting for your food to arrive.
- Take healthy snacks in your carry-on.
If you’re taking a long flight or if the winter weather delays your trip, it’s easy to get stuck without food for hours at a time. To avoid getting hangry (hungry + angry), pack some nutritious snacks that you can munch on in case of emergency.
- Choose restaurants wisely.
When you arrive at your destination, pick restaurants that offer healthier options for your meals away from home. If there aren’t any within walking distance, choose one near the highway so you don’t have to drive through town to get there—that way, you’ll be less tempted by all the familiar fast-food chains along the way.
- Eat a small meal or snack before you go out.
This will reduce your chances of overeating when you arrive. Be sure to avoid sugary beverages like soda–they can fill you up and make you less hungry for something healthier at the restaurant!
- When you’re ordering, ask for extras of the healthy foods that come with your meal and fewer or no extras of the ones that aren’t as healthy.
If you’re ordering a salad but it’s loaded with heavy toppings, ask for extras on the greens and tomatoes and less cheese and dressing. Order grilled instead of fried whenever possible. The same goes for sauces–order them on the side so you can control how much gets added.
Request that your bread be served unbuttered (or ask if they have an oil dip instead). If you do want butter, ask for just one pat–you’ll probably find that’s enough. Many restaurants will accommodate requests for healthier alternatives (such as steamed veggies instead of fries) or will give you extra servings of a particular item.
- Hydrate on water
Water is free and adds no calories to your meal. If you prefer iced tea, coffee, or soda, ask for it without sugar or sweetener packets; add a packet of artificial sweetener instead if needed.
- Tell your server ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions.
This way they can make sure there’s something on the menu that works for you. It also avoids the awkward situation when everyone else is ordering and you can’t decide what to get because nothing is healthy.
In conclusion, look at nutrition information online before you go somewhere new to eat. This will prevent you from making a bad decision based on impulse during a busy mealtime.