You’re human, right? Which means that just like me, there are daily life events and people outside of your realm of control that tempt you to break your healthy eating progress with bad food. You have friends or coworkers that want to go out to eat ALL of the time, and they never pick the healthy places! Or there really aren’t any “healthy” places where you live. Or maybe you just want to enjoy life and not have to stay home just so you can eat healthy while the crew goes out!
It seems that most of our social lives revolve around consuming food. There’s really no way to get around it! Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain weight, or just put the right stuff in your body (<—– this should be your goal no matter what!), you shouldn’t have to hide or say no to friends in order to achieve it. If you want to reach or maintain your goal, you do what you gotta do! And in this case, it means finding the healthy meal in the unhealthiest of places. The world of FAST. FOOD.
I consulted a trainer from myelitehealth.co.uk and she suggests that if you have a choice, convince your friends and coworkers to head to one of these top 5 places. Don’t have these in your area? Suggest something similar! Chances are, you can find a similar healthy option to the ones described below. You won’t lose traction, and your friends get what they want too!
They are top notch about their food, and everything is fresh and local. I have yet to meet a person who does not LOVE this place! Here’s what I typically get:
For weight loss: Salad (romaine), no dressing. Topped with chicken, fajita vegetables, mild salsa, and extra romaine shreds. It doesn’t sound like much (I know), but trust me, they heap the chicken and vegetables on there! It’s SO good, flavorful, and keeps you full since it’s high in protein. One of my personal faves!
For maintaining: Salad or a burrito bowl! Topped with your choice of meat, beans (I recommend black), vegetables, and salsa. A few “extras” would be guacamole, light cheese, or their amazing corn salsa!
2.) In & Out
Gah, this place. So good. Again, they use fresh ingredients and have an open kitchen! They cut and fry their french fries on the spot and don’t put preservatives in their meat.
For weight loss: Protein-style (lettuce instead of bread buns) hamburger, with ketchup and mustard instead of their sauce. The fries are pretty, um, fried….so I recommend sharing fries with a friend or just not getting them at all. These puppies are VERY high in calories and fat (and yet still not as horrible as other places)!
For maintaining: Regular hamburger, ketchup and mustard instead of the sauce. Same on the fries!
3.) Pei Wei
They recently starting doing sushi, which changes everything! If you’re a sushi fan, pretty much any roll that doesn’t have the word “crunch” in it will do. The crunchy rolls have added fried bread crumbs that significantly up the calories and badness. If you’re not a sushi person, here are some other options!
For weight loss: Small Asain Chopped Chicken Salad with either no dressing or the Lime Vinaigrette.
For maintaining: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (easy on the sauce), Small Pei Wei Spicy Shrimp salad (no dressing or Lime Vinaigrette), or the Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls.
Quick, delicious, easy, and TEA (Unsweet, people!). A lot of people think deli = the entire menu is healthy and results in weight loss. May this never be you. Here are some options to clarify this! Because of the “choose two” options, I’m just going to give you options for each category. Also, these are the “choose two” portions. Notice I’ve intentionally left out spuds and pasta. 😉
For weight loss AND maintaining: Cobb Club Sandwich, Orange Cranberry Club Sandwich, Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich, French Dip, Ham Melt, Turkey Melt, BLT, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Tuna Salad Sandwich, Sweet Chipotle Chicken Sandwich, Any “Deli Classic” except for the Salami and Corned Beef. Sides: Steamed veggies or fruit. Salads: Pecanberry, Garden, Savannah Chopped, or Grilled Chicken with a lite dressing or the berry vinaigrette. Soups: Chicken noodle, Fire Roasted Vegetable, French Onion, and Southwest Roasted Corn. If soup is all your getting, any of them are great!
5.) Chick Fil A
I really don’t have to introduce this place, everyone knows!
For weight loss: Grilled Market Salad with little to no dressing (and if you do, vinaigrette). Grilled Chicken Sandwich with a side of fruit, Grilled Nuggets with fruit, or Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap with fruit.
For maintaining: Asian Salad (same on dressing), Chicken Sandwich with fruit, Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with fruit, or regular Nuggets with fruit. Fries would be ok if you get a kid’s size or share! And of course, any of the weight loss items would be great too.
JOL CHALLENGE: Try finding a healthy option every time you go out to eat, no matter what the place is!
And if you’re craving something sweet for dessert, try making these doughnuts!