Sticking with your diet is easy—if all you do is stay home and cook your meals. The fact is, no one has that sort of lifestyle, and at times, you may be on the run all day. So, how do you keep from caving and grabbing something from the vending machine or a fast food joint when you're busy?

If your diet falls off the rails far too often because you're out and about, these tips are for you. There are plenty of great food options that are portable, don't need to be refrigerated, and will help you get and maintain an ideal body composition. You just have to find them.

Luckily, we've done the digging for you and have a number of terrific choices right here. Grab any one of them as you're rushing off to school, a business meeting, or a session with your personal trainer or (lucky you!) massage therapist. Then, take comfort in knowing you haven't fallen off the bandwagon yet again.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are fast and easy, and you can eat them in all of 3 minutes. They've come a long way since the good old days, when they were hard and tasted like a piece of chalk combined with cardboard.

Eating a protein bar.

Today's protein bars could easily trick you into thinking they're actually candy bars, and they can be found in just about any macro combination you desire. Whether you're on a very-low-carb, high-fat diet plan or need something that's got more balanced nutrition, there is a protein bar out there for you. Plus, if you prefer to eat your calories rather than drink them, bars tend to be the better choice over protein powder.

Single-Serve Protein Powder Packets

Protein powder is the next option. It can be a perfect solution for anyone who's on the go and doesn't have time to sit down and eat. It doesn't matter where you are or what you have going on, you can use protein powder. Just shake and drink. Save money by portioning single servings of your preferred protein powder into small containers or resealable bags rather than buying ready-made single-serve packets.

Trail Mix

While commercially prepared trail mixes aren't always the best option as they can be loaded with sugar and additives, your homemade version is a different story. Make your own trail mix with some almonds, cashews, a few dried cranberries (or other fruit), and dark chocolate bits, as well as some whole-grain shredded wheat cereal.

A bowl of trail mix.

If you have a busy day that has you on your feet for hours, you'll need some extra calories, and trail mix is perfect to support that.

Cereal and Protein Milk

Bet you never thought of cereal as a portable food, but it can be. Here's what to do.

In one container, put your choice of healthy cereal—bran flakes, oat bran, or another high-fiber, low-sugar option. In another container, put a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder or get a single-serve packet. Now all you need to do when you're ready to eat is mix the protein power with some water in a shaker cup and pour that over your cereal. It's quick and easy, and you'll get a great balance of carbs and protein.

Hummus and Veggies

While you can't let this one sit out for days without being in the fridge, it should easily go for a few hours without trouble. Hummus with veggies is a great on-the-go snack option for those who want to feel that they're eating wholesome foods. While protein bars and powders can give you great nutrition and meet your protein needs, they aren't whole foods. If whole foods are what you crave, this is an excellent option.

Hummus and veggies.

The vegetables will supply you with plenty of dietary fiber to keep you feeling full, combined with important antioxidants you need to feel your best. The hummus supplies complex carbohydrates combined with a little bit of protein to ensure your blood glucose stays stable. Together you have a winning combination.

Canned Tuna and Crackers

Finally, let's not forget the option of canned tuna and whole-grain crackers. Tuna is a fantastic source of high-quality protein and should never be overlooked. When you combine it with the crackers, you have a terrific protein-carb balance that will keep you energized all day long.

Need more fats? If you're on a muscle-building plan and want to boost your calorie and fat intake, no problem. Just opt for canned salmon instead. You can now find small tins of canned tuna and salmon that have pop-off lids, making them ideal for taking with you on the go.

So, don't let your busy schedule stop you from eating healthy. It really isn't an excuse. Plan ahead and be prepared. Then, get ready to watch your body transformation unfold before your eyes.

Want more info about fitness nutrition? Check out's Foundations of Fitness Nutrition course to learn the essentials of eating right for any goal.

About the Author

Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark is a freelance health and fitness writer located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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Weight Loss Diet