I have a confession… I eat in the car… A LOT. So how do I make it work with proper nutrition? Its all about balance!
First, lets refresh our memories with what it means to eat balanced:
Carbs should make up 45%-65% of the calories in your diet, Protein 10%-35% and Fats 20%-30%. It's important to note that fats pack a bigger calorie punch with 9 calories per gram instead of the 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein. That means that ,even though fats make should make up a decent part of your diet, their portion sizes should be a lot smaller.
When talking about traditional meals, it makes the most sense to talk about this concept in appropriate portion sizes. My favorite rule is the hand rule.
To get an idea of some my easy staples, check out this old blog post on Putting the Nutrition Pieces Together. For the most part, I am lazy when it comes to eating. I like it simple, quick, and easy.
The goal is to be balanced at all meals throughout the day, snacks included. So now the question is, what do you do when you are on the go? If you grab a prepackaged snack or eat out, how do you make sure the meals are balanced?
The answer is: know what to look for in a nutrition label.
First, I want you to get in the habit of looking at 5 things:
*Also look at the ingredient to make sure it's all real food and not a lot of extra additive, coloring, and unnatural preservatives. If your grocery store has a healthy food section, its best to stay over there in that corner. Avoid the rest of the middle aisles.
Then, based on the calories check to see if the rest of the other pieced fit into the ranges given in the table below.
Sugar is a biggy, especially when you are talking about prepackaged snacks. Anything in bar form tends to be loaded with sugar. A lot of times I look to sugar first to see if it's even an option; I try to never have a snack bar that is more than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Women should only have 30 grams of added sugar per day and, with snacks especially, that adds up fast.
These are not hard, fast rules. Think of them as guidelines. If you are a little out of the range is okay, but a 200 calories snack that is 45 grams of carbs is no where near balanced.
Make sense? Good!
Do you want some more motivation and accountability to help you make a healthy lifestyle change? Check out the MIND.BODY.SOUL Challenge!
Another biggy when eating on the go is WATER. When eating on the go drink water only! Don't waste precious calories on extra sugar…and artificial sugar just makes you continue to crave more sugar. Just stay away :)… more on this soon…
*The numbers here a roughly based on a 1500 calorie a day diet