Maintaining a diet, or controlling your meals, is important for attaining or maintaining that lean, muscle look you aim for. Food, in fact, is essential in the plans for healthy weight and more crucial than gym time. “As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise” according to nutritionist Shawn Talbott, as published in Huffington Post, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. So how do you manage meals with an already full plate?
While respectfully, many of us are being pulled in every direction throughout a day the focus on calorie counting and clean eating may fall short in priority. Many of us struggle to find the time to select the smartest choices of a meal, much less meal-plan or finding hours for cooking. Having an idea of what is “smart” versus “less-smart” in meal choices from local, fast food places as well as how to make marvelous menu choices when out to eat can help spare the extra penalty of eating on-the-go.
When faced with last minute meal moments, among many suggestions there are 5 basic tricks for picking an out-to-eat meal. To just dive in, one recommendation is to select grilled versus deep-fried. Deep fried foods contain high amount of fat from the oil they are cooked in. Options of pan-fried, while are still higher in fat than grilled, do contain less than the deep-fried foods.
Additionally, be that person and don’t be afraid to make special requests to orders. Many entrees, meals and savory sides include added oil or butter. Ask for oils and butter to be left off of the cooking process to significantly reduce unwanted fat and caloric additives.
A third way to eat “smart” is to respect portion control, and eat half of the portion and take the rest home. The majority of restaurant meals are served in large portions to help you feel that you’re getting your money’s worth, yet are more than a single meal portion of food.
Further, another recommended calorie saving tip is leave out the sauces such as dressing, ketchup, gravy… and in place add mustard or salsa for extra flavoring flare.
Cutting the carbohydrates (sugars) is a must to round out our top five! Wet your palate with water or unsweetened tea to avoid added hidden calories during your healthy meal. Additionally, cut anything of bread varieties in half or be even more daring and skip them; this reduces carb and caloric consumption within your meal. Skip on the crackers, put the brakes on breading, can the croutons and if you need a side item pick a vegetable (and if a potato, choose baked over that order of French fries).
Another savvy way to spare calories and stay on track with your meal plan includes spending a set time per week to prep foods at home. Make it a family activity or a time with your favorite music playing to change your affiliation with the work of cooking. Create bulk portions of grilled chicken, ground extra lean turkey, boiled eggs and even baked potatoes… just a few ideas. Portions can be frozen for mid-week meals and the rest set aside in Tupperware in the refrigerator with a veggie or rice added as a “fast food” meal, waiting for it’s turn in your week. Meals prepped and ready-to-go can quickly be snagged for a travel cooler and carried throughout the day to serve those diet goals and fuel you frequently for less diet setbacks. Eating frequently kicks hunger and also drives that metabolism (providing consistent energy and calories through the day).
So, if abs are made in the kitchen, let’s get cooking! Prep weekly to set yourself up for 7 days of fuel for your “full plate” with less fuss and frustration through the week. And as an alternative, feed your hunger smartly when on-the-go without depriving yourself or feeling the temptation to clean the plate. From special orders to reducing portions, you can keep your motivation for feeling heathy and on track without being limited by the demands of the day when time is sparse!