No matter how hard you try to avoid it, sometimes you have no choice but to eat on the run. These days, it’s a common practice for most people with careers or families. When time is in short supply, you can still find ways to grab a great meal on the go without sacrificing your health in the process. These tips can help you set yourself up for success to make smart choices that you can enjoy and still feel good about.
1. Stock Up on Easy Meal and Snack Solutions
First of all, if you have a busy schedule, you need to plan your menu accordingly. If you don’t have time to prepare a home-cooked meal every day, there are other alternatives you can try. One of the simplest and easiest ways to eat well in a rush is to stock up on options that are healthy, flavorful, and require little to no preparation. Fill your fridge and pantry with whole grain snack bars, portable products, and delicious meal replacement shakes for a satisfying and well-balanced alternative.
2. Order from the Kids’ Menu
If fast food is your only option, there are ways you can make it work without consuming too many calories in one setting. If you simply must have a burger and fries, try ordering something from the kids’ menu instead. It’s an easy way to satisfy your cravings and the portions are much closer to what’s appropriate for adults. If the amount still leaves you feeling hungry, add a side salad to help fill you up.
3. Keep an Emergency Stash in Your Car or Bag
You can have plenty of great snacks at home but they won’t do you any good if you can’t make it home in time to grab something to eat. Keep a small lunch tote filled with a few nutritious snacks that will hold up well, even if you leave them in the car for a few days. Crackers, oranges, protein bars, apples, and nuts are good options. Just be sure you rotate them out every few days and you’ll always have something on hand when you’re in a pinch.
4. Skip the Soft Drinks
One of the worst choices you can make when eating out is opting for a soda. These beverages are highly acidic, full of sugar and caffeine, and often served in out-of-control portions. If you must grab a meal or snack on the go, choose unsweetened tea or plain water instead. Good hydration can be especially beneficial when you’re busy and stressed.
5. Choose Healthy Swaps
Twenty years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find anything healthy on most fast-food menus. Today, there are numerous choices that are much more sensible in terms of nutrition and overall dietary balance. So, swap out your french fries for a salad or fruit cup. Choose grilled chicken for your sandwich instead of fried. Even one healthy swap can make a big difference in how you feel after you grab a meal on the go.
6. Give Meal Prepping a Try
In general, you should try to limit how often you eat out. Not only is it expensive, but even healthier choices can still increase your sodium, sugar, and calorie intake. One alternative is to prep your meals for the week ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer. Choose recipes that are well-balanced and include protein, produce, and whole grains. With this approach, you can grab your breakfast, lunch, or dinner on your way out the door and save even more time overall.
If you find yourself turning to fast food and takeout on a regular basis, be sure to make choices that support a healthy mind and body. The right options can give you better energy so you can feel your best, even when you’re in a rush. Whenever possible, take steps to prepare meals and snacks at home so you can eat out less overall.