12.22.2009

Healthier Eating On the Go

According to the book, Fast Food Nation, 1 in 4 Americans eat out everyday. Studies also show that those who eat out more, weigh more. With that said, I know there are times when we all need food on-the-go or we’re just flat out busy …. so here are some quick tips on how you can learn to tweek your fast food choices to make them the healthiest possible.

Make careful menu selections: Stay away from dishes labeled Deep-fried, Pan-fried, Battered, Breaded, Creamy, Crispy, Scalloped, Alfredo, Cream Sauce, and Super-Sized. Instead choose foods labeled Grilled, Broiled, Roasted, Steamed, Baked, Whole Grain, or Braised.

Undress Your Food: Beware of calorie & fat packed salad dressings, spreads, cheeses, sour cream, etc. Don’t be afraid to special order or make special requests. Have bread without butter. Ask for sandwiches without mayo. Dressings, sauces, & gravies on the side & ask for extra lettuce, tomato, & onions instead of bacon & cheese.

Avoid Buffets: Even salad bars can be calorie loaded. By the time you add cheeses, croutons, bacon bits, & high fat dressings you are up near the calories of a burger and fries. Instead opt for fresh fruits & vegetables and skip the extra toppings. Before going back for 2nds & 3rds be sure you really are still hungry.

Beware of Soda: Soft Drinks are the single most source of calories in the American diet according to The Center of Science in the Public Interest. 1- 32 oz. Cola has 310 empty calories & 85 grams of sugar. Switch to water with lemon/lime, diet drinks, flavored water, unsweetened ice teas, or non-fat milk.

Enjoy your Meal: Pay attention to what you eat & savor each bite. Don’t eat in front of the television, don’t feel like you have to eat everything on your plate, & don’t eat right from the bag or box.

Moderation is Key: The average dinner meal at a restaurant contains over 1,000 calories & 60 grams of fat. So order a small or kids size, share an entrĂ©e, or put half your meal in a to-go box at the beginning of your meal. If bread or chips are offered as a starter, don’t ask for a refill & use smaller plates.
Also be sure to check out ‘The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide,’ it can be downloaded free by clicking here. It’s an easy, color coded tool to aide in making healthy fast food choices. Take charge and make healthier fast food choices!

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