The majority of us drive-thru a fast food place or run in to a sandwich shop so that we can buy something that allows us to eat and drive without wearing half our meal. Typically our order is combo that consists of a sandwich, fries/chips and a drink.
Don’t panic. I’m not going to start chastising you for doing this or try to convince you that you’re a hopeless case destined to live the rest of your days sluggish and unhealthy. This is a part of our American culture and it’s not going away. What I am going to do is make a couple of suggestions that will allow you to be normal without doing too much damage to your daily nutritional goals.
Suggestion #1: Get your protein
Order a sandwich that is loaded with a lean protein. If you are ordering from a fast food restaurant get a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a burger or breaded and fried meat. If you are ordering from a sandwich shop choose the deli turkey or chicken. As much as it pains me to say this, skip the bacon; it is not a lean meat (I know, sad day).
Suggestion #2: Add veggies, skip cheese and sauces
All fast food places have lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles – load it up on that grilled chicken! A sandwich shop will likely have even more veggie choices to add. Skip the cheese. While we all know that cheese is delicious, but it is also dense in calories and high in the fats we don’t really want. Same goes for sauces; they add a little taste but a lot of useless calories.
Suggestion #3: Just get the sandwich, not the combo.
When we find ourselves in the drive-thru it’s normally because we are really hungry. Remember: hunger is not an emergency. These combo meals provide more food than you need. Fries and chips (yes, even baked chips) will add a TON of “bad” carbs and fat and practically zero nutritional value PLUS cause you to overeat.
Now you’ve got some tips for staying on track when eating on the run. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in this situation. You’ll feel better and be glad you did.
-Sharon Crook, Precision Nutrition certified coach