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Eating Away From Home

When we eat at home, we have more control over what we eat (I mean, we buy it ourselves after all), how it is prepared and the quantities that we eat.  So many of my clients struggle with eating away from home.  It is hard!  There’s no way around it.  We don’t have the control or structure that we do when we’re at home.  When you’re out and about, do your healthy eating habits fly out the window?  Many times despite our best intentions, does your location dictate your diet or do you dictate it?

No matter how nutrition conscious we are at home, for many of us, a baseball game automatically means eating a hot dog, nachos and cotton candy.  Waiting for a flight at the airport, we wait with a giant cinnamon roll to keep us company.  I know for me pre-op, I went to the movies for the expressed purpose of eating a jumbo tub of buttered popcorn (extra butter, please) and a big box of candy.

To compound the problem of making our own healthy choices, many public events now ban bringing in foods and drinks of our own.  We’re often forced to rely on the choices they sell at optimum cost.  Some of the choices are better than others.  Maneuvering the maze of healthy choices against the temptations of their fare can be hard.  More like maneuvering a marine boot camp obstacle course!!

Let’s check out some of the more popular hot spots for events and their limited food choices:

This one is somewhat easy.  Grilled is the way to go.  If it is grilled, then it is a healthier choice than fried.  Go for grilled chicken, sandwiches, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, fajitas, and, of course, grilled burgers.  Leave off the fatty condiments such as Thousand Island dressing, mayo or anything that is mayo-based.  Do you really taste the cheese on a burger?  Leave it off.  You won’t miss it nor the calories and fat.

Wraps are usually better for you than regular sandwiches.  They usually contain less bread thus carbs.  Or, if you want a sandwich, have it open-faced for only half the carbs and bread.

A hot dog isn’t horrible as long as you do it right.  If possible, eat the hot dog only with some ketchup, mustard preferably and skip the bun.  If you have a choice between a regular hot dog, jumbo or foot long, go for the regular size.  Anything with jumbo, biggie, or extra-large does the same thing to your body – jumbo, biggie and extra-large.

Soft pretzels are these huge strands of dough with tons of carbs and calories but virtually no nutrition.  Pass on the salt, use mustard and best when shared with a friend (or two, three friends!).

Peanuts in the shell offer protein and monounsaturated fat without the fat from oil-roasting.  However, peanuts are peanuts and even by themselves, there are lots of calories.  You’ll get a whopping 840 calories for an 8-ounce bag.  Spend more time unshelling them than eating them!

Some of the larger amusement parks have a variety of restaurants that include healthy choices.  Years ago the choices were limited to the little junk food shacks but not they have fancier, nicer restaurants with healthy fare.  Soups, salads, fire-roasted chicken and grilled fish are common in the restaurants.  Make sure if you have fajitas that you ask for no oil or butter, ask for the fajitas to be grilled dry and topped with salsa.

Okay, here’s where your options are very limited.  Focus on the flick and not the food!  Try to eat a healthy meal or snack before or after your movie.  If you have to munch on the movie munchies, go for a child’s size popcorn deal with no butter.  If a movie isn’t enjoyable without candy, go for licorice, mints or gummi candy.  They still have tons of sugar but are better choices than peanut butter cups or chocolate candy-coated candy.  Fill up on bottled water or if you aren’t a wls post-op, diet soda is an option.

Eating healthy doesn’t require you to stay at home or deprive yourself while out.  Arm yourself with your weight loss goals and remind yourself of them when temptation creeps into your thinking.  Remember that whatever you eat while out you’ll bring with you on your body by excess weight.

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Back On Track Facilitator

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