Despite our best efforts in staying balanced in our day-to-day lives, there’s just something about traveling that can send everything off course. Whether you’re past security and waiting for a flight or have been on the open road for a few hours, sometimes nothing sounds easier, faster, or cheaper than the ol’ burger and fries. Luckily, there are options to keep you on track to feeling great through your whole trip. Here are some ways to cut calories, sodium, and fat while on the go.
While many chicken meals come standard with fried or “crispy” chicken, you can almost always substitute grilled. If you’re having a sandwich, in between the bread and veggies you actually don’t miss the breading much, and a grilled chicken salad is usually one of the best choices on a menu. When looking at the menu the difference of 100 calories might not seem like much, but grilled can also have about 50% of the sodium, fat, and saturated fat.
Watch the Sauce
Even if you’re getting something a bit bad, you can still keep it from getting worse. Cut 100 calories by skipping the mayo. If you’re a “use all the dips” kind of a person, keep yourself to one packet and dip a little lighter. Finally, check out the nutrition calculator to choose a sauce that’s a little better than what you’d usually receive. For starters, try Sweet & Sour or BBQ Sauce instead of Ranch or Honey Mustard.
It’s Easy Being Green
In the late 80’s and early 90’s when salads were first introduced in fast food restaurants, it’s no secret that they weren’t the tastiest or freshest. A lot has changed, and today a bowl of greens can be a great choice from many fast food establishments. Choose a vinaigrette or Italian dressing instead of creamier options, like ranch. This will keep you closer to 30 calories instead of 300, and will cut out excess saturated fat.
Switch Up the Sides
It’s easy to order a number and have it come with fries and a drink. Instead, order items individually and you can help your waistline. Pay a little more and get a fruit cup instead of fries, or at least order a small fry rather than receiving the standard medium. You can also get a few small items, such as a smaller-sized sandwich with a side salad and fruit if you’re being really good.
Find the nutritional menu for where you’re going before you enter the restaurant, and make a plan of what it is you’re ordering – and stick to it. The smell of fried goodness can be overwhelmingly tempting, but once you order stick to what you got – it’ll still be tasty. Better yet, chose a place with an order-ahead option so that when you can just pick up your food with no chance to change it up.
Get it in a Bowl
Try ethnic fast food restaurants such as Caribbean, Mexican, and Asian fare to instantly replace some of your naughty favorites. Grab a bowl with brown rice and fresh veggies and your favorite grilled protein (or go vegetarian!) At deli-style restaurants, opt for a brothy, vegetable soup. As we mentioned before, be sure to go easy on the sauces and skim through the nutritional menu to make sure what you’re getting isn’t secretly filled with as much bad stuff as other places.