HOW TO START EATING HEALTHY OUT OF YOUR HOME
Following a healthy diet or lifestyle seems incompatible with eating out. Generally, we don’t have as much time as we’d like to prepare home-cooked food and have it ready for lunch at work…or that’ s what we want to believe.
I have five minutes left in the morning before I leave home. What do I have for breakfast? Which snack options are best? Dining with friends? Impossible not to skipping the diet!
Well, eating healthy or following a diet is NOT at odds with time, with your type of work or with different social situations. And then you can find tips and tricks for healthy eating in all possible circumstances, even outside your home.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO EAT OUT FOR BREAKFAST SO I DON’T GAIN WEIGHT?
Skipping breakfast can carry its risks, and this is due to later excesses and bad choices. I’ll make myself clear. Think a little bit about those times you’ve wiped out the supermarket in the bakery section. Think of those other times when you have gone – irremediably and even seemingly against your own will – to the nearest fast-food restaurant to wipe out the big combo of hamburger and potatoes.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t a conspiracy of your body to your will… well, yes, but because you had missed a meal and had a voracious hunger! That said, we’d better have breakfast all the time, right?
Some mornings can get complicated and, suddenly, you have to go to work and you haven’t prepared any breakfast yet. Don’t worry, there are healthy breakfast options that are very quick to prepare and you can even finish eating while you walk out the door. Here are some possibilities, both sweet and salty, that can get you out of a jam:
- Smoothie of your favorite fruits
- Oat and fruit porridge (which you can leave prepared in the fridge the night before)
- Yogurt with nuts
- Toast with smoked salmon
- Whole wheat toast with tuna and avocado
Combine one of these options with your coffee or infusion to go and you’re done!
WHAT DO I HAVE TO HAVE FOR LUNCH AT WORK?
At lunchtime at work we have two options: cook at home and bring something prepared by us or buy the food on the spot at the supermarket.
Yes, we know that during the week it’s already difficult for us to even cook dinner when we get home. The point is that your ally during a diet or an improvement in your diet will always be home cooking.
No food bought in the supermarket or served in a restaurant will ever replace the one we can cook ourselves. We can control the quantity according to our needs, choose fresh food of good quality and we will be aware of the amount of salt and condiments that carries.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking. In fact, usually less preparation means more natural and healthier. You can take advantage of the weekend and a few more days to prepare some dishes in advance. They can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days, depending on the promised food!
WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO I PREPARE TO TAKE WITH ME?
Some people may think that to ensure a light meal and avoid gaining weight, a simple salad is enough. Well, this is far from helping us. It is important to associate the portion of vegetables with some carbohydrates such as bread or rice and with some protein. In this way, you will ensure satiety (and thus not snacking between meals) and you will regulate your glycemic intake.
It’s very simple, your meals should always contain a part of:
- Protein: egg, meat, fish, tofu, legumes…
- Complex Carbohydrates: these are foods made from cereals, such as bread, pasta, or rice. And here I would like to make a point: We must not confuse simple carbohydrates with complex ones. Simple carbohydrates will not satisfy us as much, due to their shortcomings in comparison to complex hydrates. We can find simple carbohydrates in candy, for example, and we would be consuming just sugar. We should always consume simple carbohydrates through fruit or dairy. The reason is that a piece of fruit contains sugar, but also fiber, vitamins, and essential nutrients for our body. Remember that in the case of the refined cereals (flour or white bread) we will also be consuming free sugars since these foods have been processed and the dietary fiber and some of the nutrients they originally contained have been eliminated. This is why we should always opt for full versions.
- Vegetables: broccoli, peppers, asparagus, tomato salad, and lettuce…
Always combine these three things and for dessert, always opt for fruit or some dairy. Lunch ready!
When it comes to transporting food without getting too complicated, the best option is a bento. This Japanese lunch-box style has several compartments and is airtight. In this way, you can more easily carry ordered food without causing a disaster.
NO, REALLY, I DON’T HAVE TIME TO COOK ANY OPTIONS TODAY?
The combination sandwich ( be careful with the size) + salad is quick and easy to prepare. A healthy option might be a turkey or chicken breast sandwich (good quality, please) with lettuce and tomato, always on whole grain bread.
You can accompany it with a salad, there are some already prepared with quinoa or legumes that are not bad at all. Remember that if you choose, for example, a small salad and nothing else, you run the risk of pouncing on the first pack of cookies you see hours later.
Have a fruit or a skimmed dairy for dessert and you’ll have a satiating and quite complete lunch.
You can also get your lunch already prepared in the supermarket. Be wary of foods that are advertised as “healthy”, since it can’t always be that way, no matter if it’ s a salad.
Look carefully at the food composition: make sure it is balanced and does not have too many additives. Watch the fats, salt, and sugar contained in them.
In this way, you will make it as similar as possible to a home-cooked meal. There are very good choices of ready-made vegetable creams or canned foods.
But beware of the drink you choose to accompany your meal. When we eat out (and sometimes at home too, don’t fool ourselves) the drink of choice is usually soda.
However, perhaps you should think before making that choice: weight gain, accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, and disturbed digestion come hand-in-hand with your soft drink.
The best choice to accompany your meal will always be water, no doubt.
HOW TO EAT HEALTHY IN A RESTAURANT: THINK SMART
I know that situation: your friends or family invite you to eat out, but you want to stay firm on your particular diet, so you panic. What can I do? Don’t worry, it’s possible to eat at a restaurant or event and stay true to our food goals.
Here are 10 tips for not throwing away all your progress with food:
“Have a snack” something healthy before you get to the restaurant
A good practice may be to have something before you go out. The idea is to avoid choosing the heaviest dish, just because “you’d eat an elephant” Watch out! Half a chocolate bar doesn’t count as a pre-dinner snack.
A piece of fruit or natural yogurt can be a good choice. The days when our parents told us not to eat before eating are behind us.
Choose in advance what you want to eat
The choice you make when ordering food in a restaurant is linked to your mood. at that time. The best remedy to combat this will be planning ahead. Decide what you want to eat before you get to the restaurant.
If you and your friends have planned a dinner in a specific place: in the Internet age, there are no excuses. Take advantage of this journey by subway until you get there to consult the restaurant’s menu online and make the best decision.
The menu won’t catch you off guard at that vulnerable moment when you’re hungry and your friend next door decides to order the greasiest dish in the place.
Be the first one to choose your dish
The rest of the guests will influence your decision, consciously or not. In situations where we are in society, we have a tendency to “imitate” each other. And dinner at a restaurant won’t be the exception.
Make your choice before anyone else and it will be immovable (as long as you don’t change your mind before the waiter leaves, of course).
Choose the right type of cooking
Prioritize boiled or grilled foods, generally they will have fewer fats than those that are fried or sautéed.
Choose a good side dish
Choose, whenever you get the chance, a salad or vegetable side dish rather than a potato side dish. Simple, isn’t it?
Careful with the sauces
Sauces in meats, pasta, or salads can drastically increase the calories of a dish that may seem healthy at first sight. Order the sauce separately if you have the option, so you can control the amount you consume yourself.
Remember that a tomato-based sauce is less caloric than sauces like carbonara (loaded with fat) or teriyaki or barbecue, full of sugar.
Try the fish
Normally, when we go out to eat, we are always oriented towards the same type of dishes we usually choose. I have the impression that the fish is that great forgotten by most of all at the time of opening the menu.
Fish will always be a nutrient-rich choice for our body, so let’s give it more opportunities.
When it comes to drinks, avoid juices or soft drinks because they are very high in sugar and of very little nutritional value. If you want to have a soda, choose the light version, although sparkling water will always be a better option.
Try to avoid alcohol because it is not worth it, you will be consuming empty calories. If you choose to consume them anyway, try to choose well when it comes to calories (a gin is not the same as a mojito).
Take the time to look, taste, and enjoy your dish. Listen to your body and leave your silverware when you are no longer hungry. We know that that caramel-covered white chocolate brownie that the table next door ordered looks great. But are you really still hungry?
Don’t be fooled by dessert
Dessert will always be our weakness even if we blame ourselves later. Let’s be honest, it’s almost always too much and it will give us the impression of having gained two pounds while we ask for the check.
Do you really need it? I don’t need to tell you that the caloric intake of all your food will be reduced considerably if we “skip dessert”. So the solution is simple: try to avoid dessert or, at least, share it with someone and the destruction will not be so great. And you can always replace it with coffee or tea.
FITNESS SNACKS TO TAKE TO YOUR WORKOUTS…OR WHEREVER YOU WANT.
Finally, you can’t talk about healthy eating and health without mentioning sport. More and more people are joining a “fitness” lifestyle. Practicing some kind of physical activity is essential for our health. Diet is a key element, but if we want to achieve extraordinary results in our physique, we should always compliment it with the sport.
Therefore, it is important to feed ourselves in an adequate way so that we do not have any kind of nutritional shortages and we are at full energy for those training!
So, now, I’d like to share with you some ideas of what to eat away from home when we go out for sports or simply need extra energy from our food to cope with the day.
Energetic snacks, high in protein and easy to carry:
- A chopped apple with peanut butter
- A handful of nuts
- Some grapes with a small handful of almonds
- 1 hard-boiled egg and 1 whole-wheat toast
- A rice toast accompanied by almond cream
- Toasted chickpeas
- Natural yogurt with sunflower seeds
- Sausage loin or turkey breast with a whole wheat toast
WARNING! Each of these snacks serves us the same way to eat between meals., since they will be planned meals at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and with a sense, within our diet, not an assault on the chocolate bar we have in our bag.
If you haven’t been physically active during the day, pay attention to how many calories you take in, as you could exceed your daily calorie needs.
And well, after these tips and ideas to always make the best choices, whatever the occasion, the conclusion is clear: taking care of your food need not be synonymous with becoming a hermit.
And no, eating out and enjoying with friends should not be a distant memory of before deciding to take care of your shape.
In any case, remember that your choices should not become a calvary and that if we follow mainly a healthy diet, a small whim from time to time we all cheer life up.