Being overweight can affect your body in a number of ways, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and even osteoarthritis. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, consider this: every pound of weight gained puts an extra 3-5 pounds of pressure on your knee joints. Losing weight can diminish pain and restore function in joints, especially when paired with exercise and a healthy diet.
Many of us lead busy lives and eat on the run. Convenience is important and eating healthy is not always a priority. Here are a few tips on ways to eat healthy while either dining out or eating on the go.
Plan your food choices
If you are planning to eat out at a restaurant, choose where you dine wisely. Fast food establishments don’t have to be your only option. Choose restaurants that have variety and a range of menu options. Look up the menu ahead of time for healthy options so you know what to order and can make careful selections. If your plans include going to a restaurant for an evening meal, choose lighter options for your other meals during the day.
Don’t be shy
In a restaurant it is ok to ask for substitutions or special requests. For example, if ordering a salad ask for salad dressing on the side, instead of choosing French Fries as a side option substitute for a salad or vegetable.
Be mindful of what you eat
Pay attention to portion sizes. Meals in restaurants tend to be larger than what you would make at home. You can order an appetizer as an entrée or ask for a to-go container to portion your food before eating. When looking at the menu pay attention to vocabulary for clues of which foods are higher in fat and calories. Items that are baked, broiled or grilled are healthier for you compared to foods that are prepared in butter or are crispy or fried.
Pack a lunch
If you find yourself eating on the run a lot and making unhealthy choices due to convenience, bring food with you. Carry crackers, cereal, fruit or granola bars and store them, in a lunch box, purse or brief case. You could also keep these items or other single serving nonperishable foods such as peanut butter, oatmeal or tuna at you workplace.
Alternative selections for eating on the run
Pressed for time? Grocery stores are an option for healthy eating. Not everyone has the time, energy, or knowledge to cook a healthy meal. Many supermarkets have precooked meals or easy to grab healthy selections available to create a complete meal. For example, choose salad in a bag, rotisserie chicken, lean meats or freshly prepared fruit salads to add healthy options to your meals without adding extra time to prepare them.
Whether you’re eating in a sit down restaurant, cafeteria, or picking up takeout there are healthy choices available. These choices can be made to fit any active and busy lifestyle.