We’ve all used the same excuses. “I just don’t have time to eat healthy.” “I’m always on the go, nothing healthy keeps.” “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.” Just to name a few. I know I’m guilty of using these excuses when I’m feeling lazy and play the blame game on why I’m not eating right.
So how can you keep up a fast-paced lifestyle but not let your nutrition take a backseat? Here are 5 Tips For Eating On The Go:
1. Preparation is key. Taking that extra 5 minutes to pack a snack for you and your family can save you from hitting the vending machines - or gorging yourself at mealtime whenever it arrives.
But what to pack? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests choosing snack foods with carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Possible snack packs could be: trail mix with dried fruit, nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables, bagel with peanut butter or almond butter, dry cereals or sports bars low in sugar and calories but high in protein (such as our ToYou Snack Bars), string cheese or yogurt. If your excuse is that foods are too perishable - pack a cooler and leave it in the car! Problem solved!
2. Choose your on-the-go restaurant wisely. Health officials broke down possible choices by restaurant type:
- Mexican: burrito or soft tacos with grilled protein or vegetables
- Fast food: grilled chicken sandwich, hamburger, or veggie burger with tomato, and lettuce or grilled chicken salad with reduced-fat dressing
- Sandwich shop: Chili and a side salad or turkey sandwich
- Bakery: Garden vegetable soup and smoked turkey breast or vegetable sandwich
If your restaurant of choice doesn’t give you these options, limit your portions and try to find a high protein, grilled option. Tailor your meal to having sandwiches without the cheese, salads with low-fat or fat-free dressing on the side, and choosing fruit for a side option, instead of those greasy (but sometimes irresistible) fries.
3. If you can’t pack one of the snacks above, try finding something like it at a convenience store or vending machine. But be sure to read the labels! The National Institute of Health warns that some prepackaged snacks may actually have multiple servings in them. Also, finding low-calorie and low-added sugar snacks are a better bet.
4. Eat frequently and eat smaller portions. Eating a huge meal can decrease your energy level and make you feel tired. The smaller, more frequent meals boost your metabolism and lets you burn through those pesky calories quicker!
5. Bring that water bottle with you! Drink lots of fluids like water or sports drinks if you’re being physically active. Sounds silly, but health officials say drinking water can help curb cravings for food -- and let you find out that you may not even have been hungry at all.
These tips may not be able to be followed every time (that’s why they’re tips and not rules you must follow or punishment will ensue!) But if you try to work them into your lifestyle, overall, you’ll find that you CAN eat healthy on the go -- and maybe even “go” a little faster!
Share your on-the-go meals and struggles with us by using the hashtag #OnTheGoWithToYou