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How To Make Healthy Choices When Eating Out

As a society, we are constantly trying to adapt to the fast past environment of work, life, and family. The never-ending to do list may have us putting ourselves on the backburner when it comes to fueling our bodies with nutritious foods. A convenient way to gain back some time and energy includes finding quick and easy options to eat at fast food restaurants. Take back some control and follow these steps to train your brain on how to find the best choices when dining out.

Step 1: Use visuals such as your hand to determine the proper portion size of a food item or meal.

Some common items to help you with choosing the right portions to fuel your body include:

  • Your palm for choosing portions of meat such as pork, poultry, beef, fish, and chicken.

  • Your thumb for choosing portions of fats such as mayo, cheese, salad dressing, and peanut butter.

  • Your cupped hand for selecting portions of fruit.

  • The size of your fist for portions of carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and pastas.

Step 2: When going through the drive-thru or ordering off menu take your time. You can also browse the menu before you get there to help limit the anxiety that comes with ordering out.

Take control of the situation and look at options thoroughly:

  • Find your protein and look for lean chicken, fish, eggs, or pork.

  • For salads, ask for dressings on the side.

  • Scan the side dishes and look for opportunities to substitute with a vegetable or fruit.

  • When asked if you want to make it a combo meal, opt for water as a beverage instead of pop to help lower calories.

  • Limit dipping sauces and condiments to help lower the fat content.

Step 3: Most importantly, enjoy your food!

Remember everyone is busy! Dining out can be a nutritious and convenient solution.

  • Your body needs nutrients to keep up with your busy schedule and it’s your job to make sure you are fueling it properly!

  • By using these ideas, it can help with sodium intake and calories which will make you feel better in the long run.

Putting these steps into practice, let’s check-out the Chick-fil-A drive-thru. First, select a lean protein. The grilled chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun is a great choice. Be sure to add the lettuce and tomato for some veggies. For a side option, Chick-fil-A has some great selections – opt for a fruit salad, house salad, or kale crunch salad for some added nutrients and fiber. Ask for a zero-calorie beverage or water for your drink of choice and limit your sauces and dressings to 1 or 2 packets to help with the calorie, fat, and sugar content of your meal. This is just one example of how you can build a balanced meal at a popular fast-food chain. When you can visualize what your body needs, it can help make it a reality.

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When life gets busy, having a plan is key to making sure you are properly fueling your body. With a rock-solid plan for getting healthy meals on the table, you can reach your health goals once and for all. Get a copy of our ultimate meal planning guide for more tips on making healthy eating easy.

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