When you are on the road, dining out is a nice way to explore a city’s nightlife and local flavor. You can do this and avoid extra unnecessary calories by a few simple guidelines.
Certain guidelines make it easy to quickly and visibly keep track of your intake. Some portion guidelines are:
- Half of your fist is your starch portion
- The palm of your hand is your lean protein portion
- The size of your thumb is equivalent to the portion of fat, including cheese, that you count in your consumption. Restaurant foods have a lot of hidden fats.
- Try to order simple foods that are listed as baked, broiled, poached, grilled, roasted, stir-fried or steamed. Choose sauces that are light or skip the sauce.
I love to order appetizers instead of a full meal. Order one to split with a friend. Find one that is centered around vegetables.
Drink water or tea with your meals.
If possible, choose restaurants that use organic vegetables or local, seasonal produce. Many smaller restaurants in bigger citites are doing this now. If the restaurant has a desire for high quality produce and foods, they won’t have to make it taste good by adding extra fat, sugar, or salt.
Sugar is present in many foods. Think of a glass of wine as sugar. If you decide to imbibe, then balance your sugar load by eating some low-glycemic vegetables.
Low glycemic vegetables:
- Bean sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Beet greens
- Endive lettuce
- Green beans
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
If I have plane travel, I find that planning ahead is very helpful. I think about being hungry in advance so that I’m not tempted to just grab something that I know isn’t going to be good for me. I personally dislike feeling sluggish or foggy headed after eating food that has a lot of preservatives, sugar, or gluten in it.
- I pack a piece of fruit such as an organic apple or an orange.
- Carrots and celery are a classic snack. They accompany me to picnics, road trips, and even out when I hike or play sports outside.
- I like to make myself a little sandwich of gluten-free bread, organic turkey and cheese and a few pieces of butter lettuce.
- Mini rice cakes are a convenient snake to travel with.
- Pistachios are a great nut. They also are great for those watching their weight!
- I order hot tea if I have a lay over.
It’s best to travel with something that is sealed to ensure to problems with customs.
- Pack granola bars
- Trail mix
- Rice cakes
- Organic jerky