Eating Healthy When You’re Eating Out
Important lessons for those who travel for work, or who eat out a lot
Many of my clients travel for work, so they have to eat out a lot. Eating out (or eating on the road) can certainly make it more challenging to stick to a healthy diet. But it’s certainly not impossible! Here are some easy tips for how to eat healthy on the road:
Stick to the Big Picture
Your food selections may be more limited when you’re eating out, but you can almost always still manage two of my Big Rocks of healthy eating:
1) Sticking to natural, unprocessed foods as much as possible, and
2) Always combining a protein and a plant whenever you eat.
Even fast food menus like McDonalds and Wendy’s offer salads, and sandwiches that aren’t fried or loaded with too much garbage. Sticking to the protein-and-plant idea is even easier in a sit-down restaurant. You may not be able to pick exactly what you want, but it will be close enough.
No matter what selections are available in whatever corner of the world you may find yourself in, one thing you can always control is your portions. Put half of your dinner in a to-go box before you even start eating. If you can’t take it with you, give it to someone else. You don’t have to eat everything the waiter hands you.
Watch Out for Worthless Calories
Restaurants are great places to find lots of extra calories like bread, heavy sauces, and tempting desserts and cocktails. It’s fine to splurge on a nice dinner out once in awhile, but if you eat out regularly for business, you’re going to need to treat eating out just like you treat eating at home. It’s not a special occasion if it’s more that once every week or two!
Skip the Bread or Chips
Ask the waiter to take it off the table so it’s no longer an option while you wait.
Have a glass of wine or a beer if that’s your thing, but stick to water after that.
You probably don’t need dessert, and I probably don’t need to remind you of that.
You can order entrees with the sauces on the side so you can control how many extra calories you add to that grouper filet or chicken breast.
Keep Your Liquid Calories In Mind Too
You can get water or unsweetened iced tea even at fast food drive-throughs.
Coffee while you drive? Sure. 800-calorie mocha frappuccino? Not so much.
Another Tip for Road Warriors
When you book your hotel room, try to get one with a refrigerator. It’s a lot easier to keep yourself stocked with healthier choices when you can keep them from spoiling.
Something I hear a lot from business travelers: “When I get home from being out of town, there’s nothing healthy to eat in the house.” If this is you, instead of
airport –> home to crash,
airport –> grocery store –> home to crash.