Eating on the road

23 May

Last weekend I took a road trip with my husband and father-in-law up to Fargo, ND to run the Fargo Marathon. It’s about a 5 hour drive so we stopped for lunch both on the way to Fargo and on the way back. One thing I always dread about roadtrips is finding decent places to eat along the way when it almost inevitably ends in a fast food stop. 😦

One of our stops was at Arby’s and afterward my husband and I (who hardly ever eat fast food) were amazed by how huge our “small” combo meals were. I can’t imagine what a large is! Today I ran across this interesting info graphic:

CDC The New (Ab)normal

It’s amazing how much the portion sizes of fast food meals have grown over time. I’m only 26 and it seems like they’ve gotten so much larger even since I was in high school (and regrettably ate a lot of fast food).

If you’re road tripping somewhere this summer and there are limited options to stop for food and you end up at a fast food place, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Some fast food places offer healthier “side” options than fries. If you can, swap out the fries for a fruit or vegetable side or a side salad or just order a sandwich and skip the combo meal.
  • If the fast food restaurant you’re at only lists nutritional stats for one item (turkey burger 460 calories!) it’s safe to assume that is probably your best choice. There is most likely a reason they aren’t listing the calorie count for the rest of the items …
  • Drink water or iced tea. Definitely pass on regular soda and skip the unnecessary calories. If you are a diet soda devotee that’s fine, too, but water is always the best choice.
  • Be cautious when ordering salads. Order dressing on the side and avoid salads with fried chicken or tons of cheese on them.
  • Finally, just use common sense when it comes to nutrition. Avoid items that are breaded and fried (choose a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a breaded one), avoid fattening add ons like cheese, bacon, mayo, etc.

Hopefully these tips will help you next time you’re trying to eat healthy while traveling.

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One Response to “Eating on the road”

  1. Amanda (@SemiHealthNut) May 28, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Portion sizes always shock me..especially when I haven’t had fast food in awhile. I order kids meals sometimes haha! And I dread the fast food stops while traveling as well…and the gross feeling after eating greasy caloric food.

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing April! 🙂

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