A challenge of life in today’s pace-faced world is choosing healthy eating choices when on the run. Whether you work a 9-5, work nights, have an irregular work schedule, are a stay-at-home mom, are a student, or just about anything in between, meal choices are important yet hard-to-figure-out when we aren’t in an atmosphere we can control, like our homes. With staggering statistics that show that there are now more obese people than just overweight people in the United States, with people of healthy weight being in the minority, it is more important than ever to make wise meal choices in a culture that continually has us on the go.
Meal planning is important- I wrote a whole post about it. But, the fact is, there are always going to be times when we aren’t able to plan ahead, due to things coming up and forcing us to make last-minute meal decisions. In a culture that clearly doesn’t have a track record of maintaining healthy weight, food choices are a big deal. To help us navigate them, here are a few simple tips to helping one make healthy meal choices when on the go:
- Plan ahead. Keep healthy snacks on hand that can help you endure through those times when it really is time to eat, but you are close enough to home to wait to eat a proper meal with just a snack.
- Know your food places. It’s important to know what places you can go to eat and still eat a healthy meal. Establish “go-to” restaurants that you enjoy where you can get a meal that provides the proper nutrition and doesn’t take up a whole day’s plus calorie allotment.
- Know yourself. One of the popular chains that offers many healthy food options also carries my favorite chain mac-n-cheese. As a self-proclaimed mac and cheese connoisseur, I know that if I eat at this restaurant, I will not eat healthily. I’m a big believer in allowing oneself to splurge on occasion, but if my goal is to have a healthy meal, I know which places not to visit. In the same way, know the places where you should avoid if going out for a healthy meal.
- Know your friends. We all have friends in different places in life than us, and sometimes that means different values when it comes to eating. If you end up going out to eat with someone with a very different look on diet than you on a regular basis, figure out options that will work for the both of you. Food really isn’t something that should ever hurt your friendship, yet sometimes a little strategy is needed. Maybe you need to be completely honest with them about needing to find somewhere healthy to eat because of what you are trying to achieve in your diet. Be gentle and be sweet, don’t over-share about your values, and just get to the point.
- Use portion control. Want to cut down on those calories? Save half of your meal for later, order smaller portions, or even order off the kids’ menu. There are quite a few restaurants out there that don’t offer unhealthy choices, but simply offer huge portions. Cutting down on how much you are eating is sometimes half the battle!
Balancing diet and life is important, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Embrace these tips for eating healthy on the go, enjoy yourself and go with the flow when life calls for it, allow yourself to splurge now and again, and make the choice to live a more healthy lifestyle by consistently choosing meals that are good for your body.
What are some of your tips for ways to eat healthy on the go?