Everyone runs into a situation in their everyday life where they aren't able to stick to their prescribed meal plan, whether it is due to work, family, or other obligations. How you deal with these situations is your choice, you can either look for ways to make the most of it or just chalk it up to a 'bad day' and eat whatever you want.
Those who look at the situation with a positive mind frame are much more likely to choose wisely while those that approach it with negativity will get stressed out and make unhealthy decisions.
Below are some common situations and how to make the most of them.
1. Travel For Work.
If you are going to be taking a few days out of town on a business trip there is no doubt you won't have access to the same cooking you would at home.
- Self-opening canned tuna.
- Vegetable soups that you just add water too and heat up (if you don't have a microwave in your room, you could always put some water through the coffee maker and use that).
- Oatmeal (using same cooking method as soup).
- Protein powder.
- Premade protein bars (made at home and then packed).
- Whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter.
- Various nuts and dried fruit.
In this instance, pre preparation and planning are the most important things. You need to stalk up on transportable options that will reduce your urge to just run to the nearest fast food joint after a meeting that went a little too late.
Good options are:
When you are there, try and stop at a local grocery store and pick up some precut vegetables and a few apples and oranges. These will stay good outside of the fridge for a little while so as long as you eat them relatively soon you should have no issues with them turning bad.
2. You're At Work & Forgot To Bring A Health Snack.
It's you, the vending machine and your growling stomach. What do you do? You know you need to fuel your body or else your blood sugar levels will drop, you will get cranky (and no one likes a cranky co-worker!) and your work will suffer.
Unless you have a really great and far in between vending machine that offers a selection of healthy sandwiches or fruit and vegetable trays, you are stuck with an assorted offering of chips, chocolate bars, candy, granola bars and other snack foods. Obviously chips and chocolate bars are not going to be your best pick.
The wisest thing to look for in this case will be a small package of nuts and maybe a granola bar. Just watch portion sizes here because calories in these foods add up quickly. The nuts will provide you with a good amount of healthy fat that will tide you over for a while until you can get to a better selection of food.
Granola bars, while usually high in sugar, won't offer as much saturated fat as potato chips or chocolate bars and will be the next best option. Just maybe eat half of one instead of the whole. Chances are you won't have to wait that long until you can eat again and as long as you provide your body with something small you will at least partially satisfy your hunger.
3. You Have A Staff Meeting Over Lunch & They Are Ordering In.
You might be one of the few people at work who is eating healthy which results in them opting for pizza or nachos at the next lunch meeting, thus putting you in an awkward situation. In this case, your best bet is probably to just pass on the meal, tell them you had a late breakfast and find something to eat after the meeting.
Always keep something non-perishable in your desk so that if you run into this problem you know food is not far away and going a little longer to eat your lunch isn't the end of the world. If not eating while everyone else is makes you feel uncomfortable, then your next best thing to do is just have a smaller portion of what they are eating and once again eat more later on.
The biggest thing with healthy eating is what you do 90% of the time. This means that if you go off track once in a while, as long as it is small you won't really notice any major changes in how you look or feel.
4. You're At An All-You-Can Eat Buffet.
This is one situation that almost everyone has trouble with dealing with. More than enough food on one table to feed a small army, and chances are there is at least something there that make your willpower vanish faster than a box of donuts in a police station.
The best way to handle this situation is to preplan what you will allow yourself and then make healthy selections to fill up the rest of your plate. By giving yourself permission to eat a small piece of what you really want, you won't feel deprived which would only lead to a massive binge. And, since you are only eating one 'cheat food,' the damage done to your diet will be minimal.
Also, for the rest of the night after the meal, while the food is still out on the table tempting everyone to eat some more, try and stand as far away as possible and focus on socializing more than nibbling. It may also help to carry a drink in your hand so you'll be less likely to snack (just watch out what you are drinking, since beverage calories can add up faster than food calories).
5. You're On A Road Trip & The Only Food Options Are The Burger Joint & Pizza Place.
No doubt that we've all been on a long drive, out in the middle of nowhere when hunger strikes. The nearest big city may be miles away and the only hope of food for the next little while is a local family owned fast-food place in a small town.
Rather than suffering and starving for the next few hours, make a stop and make your selections wisely. Most places will offer some sort of grilled chicken burger; just ask for that with no sauce and then throw out the bun. You could be hard pressed to find any type of vegetables at some places so you might have to make due with just protein to tide you over.
Some places will offer a selection of salads; however fast-food salads are notorious for tasting bad. You might be able to order a baked potato at some places, just be sure to ask for it plain, otherwise it'll be likely loaded with butter or margarine.
If it's a pizza place that you're stopping at, your best bet is to choose a thin crusted small pizza with either just cheese (and as for light cheese!) or else cheese with vegetables and ham or shrimp. These meats are leaner than some of the other choices such as pepperoni or ground beef.
Everyday we are faced with choices, the choice whether to complete your scheduled workout, the choice how to spend you spare time, and a choice as to what you fuel your body with. By making the healthiest decisions possible, you can ensure that you are working toward maintaining and improving your fitness level and physique.