Eat healthy when you're not at home
Eating on the run is rarely part of your healthy eating plan, but let's face it, it's often a necessary evil. The good news is there are a few things you can do to ensure you dig into a well-balanced meal even if it is taken to-go.
Go to a grocery store
One of the best places to find healthy on-the-go meals is your local grocery store. Most now offer a wide array of dishes that are perfectly proportioned and pre-packaged. On top of that, you can stop by the produce department to grab a bag of carrots or peas, or even an apple and banana, to nosh on when your stomach starts growling.
Stop by sandwich shops
If drive-thru is the way you have to go, make sure your first stop is a sandwich shop. Many places offer a variety of vegetables you can add to your sandwich (on top of some leaner cuts of meat like chicken or turkey). Skip heavy sauces, like mayonnaise, and extra cheese, and you're looking at a delicious and healthy meal.
Cut the fat
If you're at a restaurant or fast food joint, your natural inclination may be to order a salad. But many of these options are topped with high-fat food items like bacon, cheese, eggs and rich dressing. By asking your server to cut the salad's portion size in half, and the amount of toppings the chef adds to it, your meal will be much healthier. Other lean menu items include a grilled chicken sandwich (without mayonnaise), thin-crust pizza topped with vegetables and broth-based soups.
Watch the portions
One of the easiest ways to cut calories when eating on the run is to keep an eye on your meal's portion size. Research suggests your craving (and hunger pains) start to dissipate after only a few bites of food. So always opt for kid-sized dishes when appropriate or ask your server to put half of your meal on your plate and the other half in a takeout box.
Order a healthy side
Many restaurants now give the option to choose what side dishes you want served with your meal. While it's always a good idea to opt for steamed vegetables or a side salad, if you're craving a treat, reach for French fries (especially sweet potato ones) over onion rings.
Thirst pains can often be mistaken for hunger pains, which is why it's important to stay hydrated throughout the day so you can tell the difference. Another good idea is to keep a supply of bottled water on hand; fruit juices, carbonated beverages and energy drinks are loaded with unnecessary calories and sugar.