by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated July 22, 2009)
Many of the best tricks to eating healthy when you are away from home have to do with planning ahead. When you know you will be having a busy day, you simply must prepare for it or the entire situation will be out of your control. If you do not give yourself the time or options for a healthy lifestyle, you will not so easily make the decisions that are already difficult.
Think of it this way: if you are driving somewhere and you find that you want to eat or just nibble something, and you have a bag of carrot sticks in the car with you, what will you choose to do? Find a place and stop at the drive-thru to get French fries or eat what is right next to you? The thing you must always remember to do is to make the hard choices easy and the easy options inconvenient.
So first of all, think ahead as much as you can. Prepare snacks ahead of time. Cut up some celery, carrots, bell peppers, etc. If you do not have time for that, you can always purchase something prepared, like fruit bars of fruit leather.
Another step you can take is to be ready for the restaurant you may be going to with friends. A lot of places have their menus online. You can also get the nutrition facts from the websites of some places. Try making a decision at home, when you have already eaten, so that you do not put yourself through the temptation of all those pictures and/or descriptions on the menu when you are already hungry.
And that brings me to another choice you can make. If you have to eat out and you already know you are going somewhere to eat, you can always make sure you have a snack before you go. Or if you do not get that chance and you tend to overeat because of large restaurant portions, feel free to first order a big glass of water with minimal ice (so you get more water per glass and do not overestimate how much you are drinking) and perhaps a twist of citrus. Often, people mistake thirst for hunger. Do not let that happen to you.
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