Imagine being able to eat on-the-go AND stick to your diet.
Many people I know are extremely busy but they still manage to get great results, even when they have to eat out or grab quick foods on-the-go.
With the strategies below, you no longer have to worry about what to eat when you’re traveling.
You can and should be able to eat at restaurants with no worries about breaking your diet.
I’m going to show you 3 strategies you can begin using today to ensure you stay on track while traveling.
Fast Food/Convenience Store
Sometimes you won’t have food prepared ahead of time, and you may not have time to eat at a sit down restaurant.
So what are you supposed to do, starve?
While you shouldn’t live off of fast food, or items from a convenience store, there are options available that can keep you on track during the busiest of times.
If you’re in a pinch and have to grab something from a gas station or such, here’s what you could choose:
- beef jerky
- greek yogurt
- quest bars/protein bars/drinks (look for ones with minimal added sugar)
- hard boiled eggs
- sandwiches (choose ones with lean deli meat like turkey or chicken, not high fat meats like salami or bologna)
- 0 calorie drinks (waters, diet sodas, plain coffees and teas)
I wouldn’t live off of a convenience store diet, but you can make good choices when you have no other options.
If you have to go through a fast food drive-thru, you can still make good choices that won’t harm your progress. You won’t die if you eat fast food, and many restaurants are providing more and more healthy options these days.
If fast food is your last option, stick to these recommendations:
McD’s, Wendy’s, Burger King etc
- grilled chicken sandwiches/wraps
- grilled chicken salads (dressing on the side, or ask for low fat/fat free dressing)
- fruit (apple slices etc)
- any grilled options
Chiptople/Tex Mex restaurants
- chicken or steak bowls
- normal scoop of rice
- extra lettuce
- guac/cheese/sour cream (pick one to keep fat intake down. If you choose all three, you’re looking at an extra 300-500 calories just from the fat source)
Prepare Ahead of Time
If you’re like 95% of people who work away from home, then eating can be a bit tougher, but not impossible. With the proper planning you can stick to your goals and get the nutrition that you need even while at work.
I think preparation is one of the most overlooked aspects of being successful with your diet. Simply take 1 hour every Sunday to prepare food and meals for the week at work.
If you work a job that doesn’t give you much freetime to sit down and eat a meal, consider having a supershake as your lunch and then solid meals when it’s more do-able.
Now, you’ve got a few options if you choose to prepare your food and shakes ahead of time. One of my favorite food prep strategies is to make big batches of proteins, carbs, and veggies all at once. Then, once cooked, they can be portioned out for the week.
Then all you have to do is grab and go. It sure makes eating a heck of a lot easier on the go.
Plus, you know exactly what’s going into each meal, which allows you to control your calories and portion sizes depending on your needs.
If you’d like to have highly nutritious shakes at your fingertips, consider making supershakes. There are limitless options of ingredients to use, which make supershakes a great meal replacement. You can customize them to fit your meal timing and macro requirements. For instance, if it’s after a workout, you’d want a higher carb amount to help replenish your energy stores.
Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Precision Nutrition:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup ice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 serving greens plus
You can adjust these ingredients to fit the amount you need, which makes it super easy to stay on track with your diet. For more super shake recipes and idea check out this guide HERE.
Strategies for Dining Out
I know many people that work in an office setting that go to lunch everyday. Meaning they go out to eat at a restaurant and are surrounded by tons of choices of what to eat.
You’re probably less likely to order something conducive to your goals especially if you’re with a large group of people or friends.
But, you can still go out to eat, have a great time and make fat loss progress. The key is a little planning ahead.
Here are some strategies you can use to stay on track if you know you’ll be dining out:
- Check out the menu ahead of time. If possible, give the restaurant’s menu a look before you arrive, so that you can order something that is tasty yet still keeps you on track.
- If it’s a spur of the moment decision in restaurant choosing then know what to order when you get there. Stick to lean protein options like chicken, steak, or fish for example. Don’t be hesistant to ask to have it made exactly how you want it. I’d recommend choosing items that are baked, broiled, or grilled, rather than fried or cooked in a heavy cream sauce. Pick some veggies, and a carb item as well. You can ask to have them hold the butter/oil on the veggies and ask to have them steamed instead. Choose carbs like potatoes, rice, quinoa, and pass on the fried mac and cheese (you’ll likely save 500 calories).
- Ask for any dressings, sauces, oils/butter on the side and add them on your own. Many restaurants add dressing when your salad comes out. It’s usually way too much, so it’s best to ask for it on the side.
- When in doubt, stick to lean protein options and vegetables. There are usually tons of added calories that sneak in during cooking, turning an otherwise seemingly very healthy meal into a 1,500 calorie bomb.
- Check the menu to see if it gives calorie estimates-a lot of restaurants are now doing this which can be super helpful. Opt for lower calorie options that will be most filling.
- Ask for double veggies
- Skip the alcohol and cocktails (you shouldn’t be pounding booze if you’re working anyway 😉 but if you’re not, I can’t tell you what to do)
Dining out doesn’t have to be a diet nightmare. Nor does it have to be super confusing or restrictive. Think of dining out similar to eating a good healthy meal at home, except that you don’t have to cook it.
Stick to similar foods you’d eat at home and you’ll stay on track.
There are tons of handy apps you can use to help you calculate the calories in particular foods. My Fitness Pal is a big one, and it seems many people like to use that. Calorieking.com is good for looking up foods on the go, in particular items from fast food restaurants.
With a little bit of planning ahead, you’ll no longer have to worry about what to eat when you are forced to eat away from home.
Choosing the Best Option
Sometimes you just have to choose what’s best at a particular time. Hopefully you now see that every meal you eat doesn’t have to be homemade. While homemade meals will most likely be the best quality and easiest to track, most people are away from home during the day.
If you control your calories, you can implement some of the above options into your everyday diet and still lose fat.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the perfect options available because you don’t have to be perfect with your diet in order to see great results.