Meals-on-the-go : 7 helpful tips for healthy eating
Eating on the go, we’ve all done it : forgot our lunch, lack of time, a long road trip… There is no shortage of choices out there when it happens occasionally. However, if meals-on-the-go have become a regular occurrence, the time has come to revise your options.
1. Don’t wait till you’re starving
We often find reasons to push back on meal times : just a few more kilometers on a road trip or we just want to complete a certain task before getting something to eat. Conclusion : by that time, we are famished and everything and anything looks delicious. It is then painfully difficult to make healthy choices, say…change the fries for a salad. The best time to make wise choices is when you first start feeling a little peckish, that moment when you feel a slight empty feeling in your stomach and your energy level starts dipping.
2. Eat slowly and recognize the hunger signals
It is proven that large food portions have a tendency to make us eat more. Therefore, eat slowly, savour each bite and look for signs of satiety in order to avoid overeating and feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.
3. Avoid the combos, the trios, and the special deals
Yes, when your’re talking price, combos, trios, the table d’hôte and the supersized options are good deals. But ask yourself this, are you really that hungry? Case and point, as I stated before, the more food on your plate, the higher the risk of overeating. Unfortunately, the healthier options do cost more. In fact, it often costs extra to get a bottle of water instead of the soft drink, or the veggies or salad instead of the fries. Ordering from the à la carte menu is also more costly than opting for the trio. These facts only reinforce my beliefs that a little planning goes a long way and is much better than succumbing to the hidden pitfalls of the so-called convenient meals-on-the-go.
4. Think veggies, fiber and protein.
Once you’ve made your choice, make sure it’s accompanied by a healthy portion of vegetables. Whether in a soup, a salad, a side dish or as garnish, vegetables help satisfy your hunger with less calories. Also, the fiber they contain will help you feel satiated. Legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grain cereal products, and fruit are also good sources of fiber. Finally, because protein is a nutrient that requires more time to process and digest, it will sustain you for longer periods. Meat, fish, poultry, seafood, legumes and tofu are all good sources of protein.
5. Avoid sugary drinks
Here’s an easy way to improve your meal…avoid all sugary drinks. Whether it’s a juice, soft drink, energy drink, flavoured coffee, vitamin-enriched water or iced tea, they all contain copious amounts of sugar. Alas, the diet versions are no better as they contain artificial sweeteners that have been linked to the imbalance of intestinal microbiota.
6. Supermarket stop
Many supermarkets now offer quick meal options where it’s possible to make healthier choices than a stop a the fast food joint. You can choose from an assortment of salads, raw vegetables, sushi, hard boiled eggs, cubed cheese, yogurt parfaits, and other healthy options. You can also choose canned tuna with crackers, a mixed bean salad, cold cuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables to complete your meal.
7. Watch your fat and salt intake
A good number of these meals-on-the-go contain a lot of fat. So watch out for the sauces you choose : opt for sauces that are vegetable based for your pastas, cut down on mayonnaise and ask for your dressing on the side so as to control the amount you’ll be adding to the dish. Obviously, avoid fried foods as much as possible. When it comes to salt however, the struggle is more difficult as even the healthier restaurant options are often way too salty. What you can do is avoid adding extra salt, and watch that soya sauce.