Avoiding the drive through

drive-thruI am continuing my exploration of the topic of balance, and continue this theme while talking about the drive through.  We ALL know that drive through food is NOT good for us.  It might TASTE GOOD, but it’s NOT good, healthy food.  The statistics, however, don’t lie – and what they say is that many, many of you are going through the drive through more than is healthy, wealthy and wise.

So, what are the alternatives?  Here are some helpful tips to keep your “drive through” visits balanced on the healthier side of your life:

  • Choose fast food restaurants that have healthy options. For example, fried chicken restaurants often do not offer non-fried foods. Ethnic fast food restaurants frequently have many low-fat menu items.
  • Balance eating out with smaller, healthy meals. If you know you are eating pizza out tonight, choose a lighter lunch, like a salad or low-fat sandwich.
  • Stick with regular-sized items rather than the super size.
  • Drink water, milk, juice or diet soda with your meals. “Super-sizing” a regular soda can add over 450 calories and 35 teaspoons of sugar! Even though upgrading to a super-size many only cost an additional $.50, those two quarters are buying you almost twice the calories!
  • Ask to have sauces and salad dressings served on the side so you can decide how much to use. A ½ cup of regular Ranch salad dressing weighs in at over 40 grams of fat.
  • Fried, basted, escalloped, braised, au gratin, crispy, pan-fried, sautéed, stewed or stuffed foods are high fat foods. Look for foods that are grilled, fast-food-iconsbaked, or steamed.
  • Try vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, or zucchini on your pizza.
  • Choose pasta with a red sauce rather than white. The base of white sauce is usually cream or butter.
  • Head to restaurants more often than buffets. It’s hard not to overeat when it’s all you can eat!
  • Enjoy your favorite high-fat food in moderation: share with a friend or save them for special occasions
  • Head for the grocery store instead of a restaurant.  Most grocery stores have great delis with many fresh, often organic options.

What are your tactics for keeping the drive through out of your life while still maintaining your healthy eating sanity?

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