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Nutrition on the Road

Food provides the energy we need to perform and recover from our workouts, and how we eat can make our break our efforts in the gym. In fact, many experts believe that the way you eat will determine 80% of the results you obtain from your workout and nutrition program. It only makes sense though.  Lots of people exercise everyday for weeks, months, and even years. Unfortunately, many of these people look exactly the same year after year, and some even gain weight despite following a regular exercise program. Those who get into shape and stay in shape know how vitally important it is to pay close attention to what they eat. 
I think we all have found ourselves in situations where we have to eat at a restaurant or even fast food. We all know that fast food is not the healthiest choice there is, and after the movie SuperSize Me people are literally scared to death to eat fast food!  However, with a little knowledge and common sense, as well as the variety of food choices offered by most restaurants today, it is actually pretty easy to eat healthy on the go, even at fast food joints. 
So, what types of things should we be looking for when eating out? Try to remember  “high protein and calorie control” which leads to choices like grilled chicken, beef, fish, and vegetables. Baked or sweet potatoes (plain) are also good carbohydrate choices as long as the calories in these items fit into your nutrition plan. Have some water and maybe even a diet soda to wash it all down and you are set. A simple way to save a good bit of calories and unnecessary fat is by simply asking your server to have the cook prepare your steak or chicken and vegetables without butter or oils. 
Here are my top 3 choices when I am on the road and need a healthy meal:
  • LongHorn Steakhouse - I know that I can get a delicious piece of steak, chicken or salmon with a fresh mix of vegetables, and a plain sweet potato. I have a great relationship with my local LongHorn since I go there so often, and they know to cook my vegetables and potato plain and to hold the bread. It makes it great because I can go whenever I want and let someone else cook for me for a change instead of spending all my free time in the kitchen. It makes it much easier when you become a “regular” of a restaurant since the staff knows how you like your food and you don’t have to explain it in detail each time.
  • Subway - So, what do you do if you can’t make it to a LongHorn or another sit down restaurant and fast food is your only choice? I recommend trying to find a Subway or a Chick-fil-A (see below). My favorite choice at Subway is the foot long Roasted Chicken sandwich on wheat bread with no cheese, lots of veggies and some spicy mustard. This sandwich packs about 50 grams of protein, less than five grams of fat, and around 650 calories. The six inch sandwich is around 325 calories, and the best part is they are big and very filling!

    We all know Jared, who lost like 300 lbs on the Subway diet. Is there really something that special about Subway sandwiches? The reason that Jared was able to loss all of the weight was because he found a diet he could live with, he believed in it, and he stuck to it until he reached his goal. Also, whether Jared was aware of this or not, Subway sandwiches (the 6 grams of fat or less variety) have relatively few calories for how big of a sandwich it is. For example, a foot long turkey sub with all of the vegetables and no cheese has less than 600 calories. It is pretty easy to see how someone could not feel hungry on a diet of 3 of these foot long subs a day, which does not even total 1800 calories a day.
  • Chick-fil-A - I recommend going for the chargrilled chicken sandwich which offers 25 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat and 280 calories. Personally, I will eat two of these sandwiches and skip the fries. Sure, it’s more expensive than the meal deal with fries, but well worth it for the nutritional difference. Another easy tip to save about 30 calories and three grams of fat per sandwich is to ask for “no butter” on your bun. Most people do not even realize they spread a small amount of butter on the buns.
I’m not saying you should eat fast food everyday. The point is that it is possible to eat relatively healthy and not ruin your workout and nutrition plan even if you are out of town and have to eat out. So next time you find yourself on the road with nothing to eat or if you just can’t stand to cook another meal, make a smart choice and let someone else do the cooking for you. 

This article was provided by Fitness Together Johns Creek and Dunwoody
For more information on Fitness Together Johns Creek and Dunwoody, check out their full profile here.
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