Summer is here and that means two things: less clothes and more traveling (at least we can hope). It also means there will be busy days filled with BBQs, beach days, and staying outside later. Although we look forward to these things all year, it makes it difficult to find healthy options while we’re running around town (or possibly the country). Here are 5 ways to not sacrifice your plans, while still making your health and fitness goals a priority.
1. Make sure to eat healthy meals while you're at home.
Whether this is before you leave on vacation or just on a day long errand expedition, it’s important to eat a well balanced meal when you can control what you're making, which will sustain you for a longer period of time and keep you from having to scavenge while you're out.
2. Pack Healthy Snacks
It is important to have snacks ready for the times when hunger hits, so that you don’t have to rely on the gas station (however, items that are underlined below can be found at a gas station in a pinch).
Packable Snack Ideas:
-Tuna packets, protein bars, protein powder, beef jerky, nuts or seeds, fresh fruit, single serving nut butter, veggies and dip, cut up grilled chicken, string cheese, hard boiled eggs (depending on how long you are out for), homemade sandwiches, crackers with deli meat and cheese
3. Don’t be afraid to customize orders at restaurants
I know some people feel uncomfortable when asking to modify a meal on a menu, but it makes it so much easier to make a good choice at a restaurant (and you're paying for it so you should get what you want). Don’t be afraid to order an appetizer as a meal, or combine different menu items to achieve the meal you want. Refer to the ‘Mindful Guide to Eating Out - Restaurant Edition’ in our recipe guide (even print it out to keep handy) on suggestions for what to order at restaurants.
4. Ask for a take out box when ordering your food, and immediately put half of your meal in when your food arrives
Not only will this save you time and money by getting two meals for the price of one, but it will keep you from overeating just because the food is there on a plate in front of you and you're part of the “clean your plate club”. Most restaurant meals are upwards of 1,000 calories PER entree, so cutting that in half will help keep you on track.
5. Be mindful and present when you’re eating
Tap into your hunger and fullness cues when making decisions on your food choices. Just because it’s dinner time doesn’t mean you need to eat if you had a big lunch. If you're hungry at 3 pm and will get overly hungry by 6 when you’re having dinner, often times acknowledging that and eating something small will keep you from overeating later that night.