Eating well while away from home

Doing well when it comes to healthy eating at home but struggling outside the home? At home, you likely have total control over your diet. You might choose to only keep nutritious foods in the fridge and pantry. If the less nutritious foods aren’t in the pantry, it is easier to eat well. Unfortunately, today’s world seems to be geared towards an unhealthy diet. Outside of the home, maintaining your balanced diet may feel more difficult.

Eating out with friends

When eating out with friends, it may feel easy to go back to your old habits. There are a few things that may help you maintain your new healthy eating patterns, though. Where possible, consider choosing the restaurant yourself. This means that you will already know what options are available and can choose somewhere that has nutritious options that support your goals. Aim for a meal with a good lean source of protein, e.g., chicken or beef, lots of vegetables, and a whole grain carbohydrate choice (e.g., brown bread or brown rice). If alcohol is on the cards, consider what you are drinking and how much you are drinking. Obviously, the less, the better. When it comes to what, the best choices are a white spirit with a sugar-free mixer, e.g., vodka and soda or gin and Diet Coke. 

Work trips

When going away for work, you may not be able to choose where you eat, but remember you are still in control of what you eat. As usual, consider an option with a lean protein source and lots of vegetables. Additionally, even if you are busy, try not to skip meals. When you skip meals, you are more likely to crave less nutritious, energy-dense foods, e.g., fast food and sweets. Eating regular, balanced meals helps maintain blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling good and working at your best. If you know you will be busy and finding food may be difficult, consider packing some healthy snacks, e.g., raw, unsalted nuts, whole fruit, tins of tuna, or even a chicken salad sandwich on brown bread. 

Holidays

Holidays may mean family get-togethers and traditional foods. Food is more than just fuel, and it is okay to indulge in traditional, less healthy foods. For example, if your mother bakes a dessert from your childhood once a year on a special day, it is okay to indulge in this food. Remember, though, that when having family food get-togethers for the holidays, you don’t need to eat until you are stuffed full. No one likes that feeling! Consider having a small amount of all your favorites, leaving you just satisfied. When we deprive ourselves of foods, we are more likely to overeat, leaving us feeling not so great. All foods can fit as part of a healthy diet. 

Vacation

Vacations can mean a long period of time away from your own kitchen. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your healthy eating, however. A balanced diet should be something you can maintain wherever you are. Consider the basis of a healthy diet, each meal should contain:

  • Protein: dairy, lean red or white meat, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu
  • Color: fruits and vegetables
  • Healthy fats: meat, fish, eggs, dairy, olive oil, nuts/seeds, avocado
  • High-fiber carbohydrates: e.g., fruit, vegetables, lentils, whole grains

This should be achievable almost anywhere! Yes, on vacation, you may enjoy some more decadent meals than normal, e.g., dessert after dinner, bigger dishes, and buffets. But if you focus on eating balanced meals (as above), eat when hungry, and stop when full, a vacation doesn’t need to derail you. Enjoy your favorite decadent meals but balance this with lots of vegetables too! 

About the author

Cheyenne Holman

Cheyenne Holman

Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD)
Accredited Sports Dietitian
Certified Personal Trainer
Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher