I know that you are busy, and that modern, fast lifestyle doesn’t always allow you to eat properly, but there’s an option to minimize the impact of “bad” meal on your hard-earned results.
When you are in hurry running from meeting to meeting or from job directly to pick up kids and then to gym, the easiest option is dining out. This doesn’t have to be poor food choice. Almost every fast food chain or restaurant have some kind of healthy, or at least healthier option to choose from. Here are some tips to consider.
Eating in restaurant
– say thanks and send back free food. I know that breadbasket looks really tempting or tortilla chips like a slice of heaven especially when you are hungry, but those are all full of sodium, fat and calories that you don’t want. – drink water. I covered why water is beater in my post How much water do I need to drink
so just to summarize briefly. Soda and other sweet beverages are full of salt, to get you drink more, and to cover the salt they add even more sugar. The same goes also for all alcoholic beverages, you get a lot of unnecessary empty calories before you even start eating.
– pay attention on preparation. For some dishes you already know how they are made and for the ones you don’t know just ask so you will be able to avoid all crispy, scalloped, creamy, basted, pan-fried, batter-dipped, deep-fried foods. Instead look for steamed, boiled, baked or grilled food.
– make it your way. Most restaurants have healthy food prepared on unhealthy way so ask them to prepare it your way. Majority of them will gladly fulfill your request.
– skip the sweet course. Your will save from 700 to 1000 calories which is one full meal.
Eating frozen food
If you know that you won’t have time to cook or to have it for just in case when those days came, frozen food is also an option. I wouldn’t recommend it when fresh food is an option but we all know that this option is not always available.
– always check nutrition labels. Looking at the label you will get the idea or nutritional value of frozen food, be extra careful on portion size as the number can be misleading.
– there are companies who are offering frozen food and are branded as healthy, but truth is far from it. Their products can be full of fats and sodium so watch out what you buy and again check the labels.
– make it better and healthier. By buying good “base”, with above advice’s, you can easily make it even better. Just add some spices like turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic,.. and veggies like baby spinach, broccoli, paprika, chickpeas,.. you will make it more delicious, balanced and healthier.
Eating fast food
I would say that this should be your last option or if this is your meal on cheat day (if you have it and if you really have craving for fast food from time to time) but I would always advise against it.
Nowadays even fast food chains started offering healthier option to their classic offer, you just need to know what to order and especially what not. Luckily all fast food chains are mandatory by law to provide nutritional facts, so you can avoid eating tons of calories without even realizing.
– don’t go for the BIG. We all want value for our money, especially in fast food chains where our eyes are buying meals instead of our brain. Here every meal goes beyond 1000 calories easily so don’t make it double.
– don’t. For main dish don’t order fried chicken or wings and rather order burger with extra lettuce and tomatoes, and for side meal instead of fries take salad with olive oil and vinegar. And there is always an option to order natural or sparkling water instead of coke.
– and again, skip the sweet course. All those pies and ice-creams are without any significant nutritional value and will skyrocket your blood sugar even more, ergo your pancreas will produce even more insulin to lower your blood sugar meaning you will be hungry again sooner.
And the last but not least, my favorite of “I have no time to cook” meal is a protein shake. This is the best and the quickest option that I would always recommend. It is quickly to made and you can get any kind of protein, carbs and fats ratio you like.
Let me get you my all time favorite amongst shakes. The ratio/portions of below ingredients depend on your physic and goals.
Ingredients: almond or oat milk, greek yogurt, blueberries, chia seed (pre-soaked for at least 20 min), flax seeds (pre-soaked for at least 20 min) or linseed oil and oatmeal (again pre-soaked for at least 20 min). Protein powder can be added if desired/needed.
Spices: cayenne pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger (can also be fresh root).
PS. Protein bars and organic trail mix is also a good quick fix.
And remember, it will not get easier, you will get stronger and fit!