Healthy eating when you’re at home and in control of your environment can be relatively straight forward.
But what about when you’re not at home? Here are 5 tips for finding healthy foods to keep you on the straight and narrow. Even when you’re away from the safe confines of your home.
1. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
Your meals should consist of:
- Lean Protein i.e. chicken, fish, chickpeas
- Colourful vegetables i.e. broccoli, peppers, tomatoes (eat the rainbow)
- Healthy fats i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds
- Smart carbs i.e. brown rice, sweet potato, wholemeal pasta. These are considered to be ‘smart carbs’ because they take longer to digest. If you consume white rice for example, it will digest quickly, therefore causing sugar levels to spike.
If you keep this simple formula in mind, you won’t go far wrong when eating away from home. While we recommend following our anytime meal template (Click here to download ), keeping that mental checklist in mind will keep you focused on what you need.
2. PICK THE GOOD STUFF
If you’re going to indulge away from home (on occasion it’s a good thing to do). Pick the good stuff.
Part of choosing quality items is to go for products containing less ingredients. Also, if you see an item with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce – give it a miss.
By opting for quality alternatives as opposed to the more processed ones, you’re automatically going to fuel yourself with better nutrients.
A good example of this is chocolate. When you’re in the grocery store you’re usually presented with a choice…Snickers, Mars, or a few paces away, a bar of dark chocolate.
While dark chocolate is slightly more expensive, not only is it more satisfying (usually two squares will satisfy you), but it also features the following health benefits:
- An excellent anti-oxidant
- Heart healthy
- Improves circulation
- Can control appetite (if eaten 20 mins pre-meal)
3. SNACKS AS TOP-UPS
One of the most dangerous things to do is to leave the house when you’re hungry.
But with the busy lifestyles we have, sometimes it happens. By taking healthy snacks with you (i.e. a small packet of nuts) you’re keeping yourself ‘topped up’ in the event you get an attack of the munchies.
This is also particularly useful when at work. Keeping healthy (non-perishable) options in your desk i.e. nuts, oatcakes, biltong. This is an effective way to avoid that tasty plate of muffins calling your name…
4. COMBINE ITEMS TO IMPROVE THE FLAVOUR AND NUTRITIONAL CONTENT
Okay, I agree, carrots on their own are usually best suited for rabbits. But rabbits don’t have hummus do they…poor rabbits!
By combining different healthy options you can turn a boring snack into something truly yummy. Click here for 5 quick snack recipes that combine healthy ingredients into really tasty choices.
5. SAUCE ON THE SIDE
Sauces can be a key sources of stealth stuff that you don’t want — namely, processed sugar. Sauces may be added for flavour, but you can control how much of that flavour you add by asking for sauce on the side.
By asking for sauce on the side you are consciously taking control of your food intake.
Click here for a short podcast discussing the dangers of a diet high in sugar, how to identify sugar and how sugar can benefit your training.
The point is, by being creative and keeping healthy, quality options at the top of your mind, you can enjoy eating away and not feel guilty doing it.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham. James focuses on building the best version of you and inspiring you to new levels of health and fitness – regardless of your current ability or age. James is always keen to share the tools he uses to assist others in achieving their goals and has featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Healthy and Hello! magazines.