So you rush out of the house for a day of errands. A couple of hours later you’re in the mall and your stomach starts complaining. You’re working hard on losing weight and watching what you eat, so you grab…what? Seriously, what can you grab quickly that’s healthy and not-fattening in any mall USA? I mean, other than the cardboard that the USB drive you just purchased is mounted on. I swear, the road to diet-hell is paved with lack of choices and a mall food court. (Wait, maybe hell IS a mall food court!)
These are the moments that make or break it for many of us. If you succumb to the lure of the Sbarro slice, you will be mad at yourself later, I promise you. Then it is only two steps to the “well, I blew it already and that pint of Ben & Jerry’s sure looks good” type of evening. But how can we avoid this descent into fast food debauchery?
The Boy Scouts get it right: be prepared!
Let’s face it; our culture is not wired for healthy eating. Anyone who has tried to find something of nutritional value while traveling knows this all too well. Though there are oases in this dietary desert, they are few and far between, so until there is a national nutritional sea change it’s up to us to bring the healthy choices along for the ride. However, this involves planning and preparation.
Mornings are crazy, believe me, I know, but bringing your own lunch is not only fiscally responsible, it ensures that you will have a healthy midday meal, which will help keep your eating on track for the rest of the day. Since I eat every three hours, I leave for work with a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack in my insulated pack. This takes the guesswork and temptation away from grabbing something to eat during my crazy day.
For me, the trick is to ensure I have a decent amount of lean protein to keep me satisfied all day. And I don’t know about you, but I always need to have something sweet in the afternoon or I will hit my colleague’s candy jar like a sledgehammer, so I make sure to include fruit, fresh or dried.