5 Tips for Eating Healthy On-the-Go
It goes without saying that the day-to-day grind often leaves us with little time to accomplish the things we'd like to do. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employed American between the ages of 25 and 54 spends almost 16 hours a day either asleep or at work.
That leaves only eight hours to take care of the family, maintain a personal life, relax, and eat-which makes it hard to eat healthy. Here are five tips to help you eat healthily during a day in which every minute counts.
1. Plan Ahead. One of the most common mistakes for on-the-go eating is leaving home with nothing to eat for the day. This leaves you open to grab a quick, calorific bite at the local burger joint or a sugary snack from the vending machine. Avoid these daytime eating errors by planning your meals ahead of time. If you like a mid-morning snack, bring a small package of almonds or keep some yogurt in the company fridge. And if mornings leave little time for prep, pack up snacks for the week on Sunday.
2. Prepackage. When it comes to eating on the run, plastic baggies never seemed more convenient. Tossing some carrots and a few celery sticks in a small plastic bag can go a long way. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can cut up some apples and place a scoop of peanut butter in a plastic container for a low-calorie, high-protein afternoon bite to eat. Prepackaging your own meals and snacks will not only save you grams of fat and calories in your diet, but it will keep money in your pocket as well.
3. Stock up. Because there isn't always time to plan your weekly snacks, and time to put something together in the morning is scarce, sometimes the best method is buying in bulk. Many wholesale clubs offer healthy snacks such as trail mix, nuts, or soup in packages large enough to last you a few weeks--or longer. Keep non-perishable foods in your desk so the next time you need something to eat 15 minutes before a long meeting, you look no further than your bottom drawer.
4. If fast food is a must...make smart decisions. Remember, just because you're at a fast-food restaurant doesn't mean you have to eat like you're at one. Burger King, Wendy's, McDonald's and others offer healthier choices, such as parfait, apple wedges, side salads, and fruit cups. If snacks won't hold you over, keep in mind there's no need to super-size. Opt for grilled chicken sandwiches over burgers, hold the mayo, and skip the fries. Slight changes in your order can make a vast difference.
5. Limit slip-ups. We all make the occasional mistake. Eating healthy is a lifelong commitment and lapses in your diet will happen--and at times to preserve your sanity. When the rare candy bar or a wayward slice of pizza makes it into your diet, don't allow it to be an excuse to begin eating badly. Make your next meal healthy if what you're eating now isn't-it could help keep you at a healthy weight. In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that thin teenagers compensate for eating fast food by eating fewer calories for the rest of the day. Overweight teens, on the other hand, didn't eat any differently that day.
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