American culture sucks at being healthy. That’s why we have an “obesity epidemic”.
People cannot keep themselves from getting morbidly obese.
Can you blame them? (Of course you can, but roll with me here).
Go to your nearest strip mall, food court, or airport terminal. You’ll see some combination of a Chick-fil-A, “Asian” cuisine, McDonald’s, and Jamba Juice
Translation: deep fried, breaded/covered in oil, deep fried, and Type-II diabetes in a styro-foam cup.
The pickens are slim.
While the food I cook tastes better than all of the above (and is cheaper and healthier)sometimes you just have to get some food.
So what’s to do?
Look beyond what they’re presenting.
Here is your gameplan:
Jamba Juice: don’t even look there. JJ wants to fool you into thinking it’s healthy. It isn’t. Every smoothie is loaded with far too much.
“But isn’t fruit good for you?”. Of course. It’s natural and delicious and packed with nutrients. However, it’s also contains one of the densest serving of carbohydrates per gram of any food. That’s why it tastes so damn good: it’s pure sugar. Stay away from the JJ and make your own. It’ll be cheaper, healthier, and tailored to your palette.
The other JJ-Jimmy John’s-presents much better options at a similar price point. Bread, especially white bread, is a general no-no. Every Jimmy John’s sandwich is available as a lettuce wrap (called an “un-wich”). With bread eliminated, it’s impossible to go wrong at Jimmy Johns. Every other ingredient on the menu is perfect fit fuel: whole meats, vegetables of all colors, and mashed avocado. If it’s in your area, it is the perfect delivery option. Fast, affordable, and potentially healthy as hell, Jimmy John’s delivers in the clutch.
Chipotle, too, can either be gold or garbage. The conventional burrito is a macro-buster: way too many simple carbohydrates (already not suggested) against a tiny amount of protein and fat. However, Chipotle can also be a macro-maker: drop the tortilla, sour cream and cheese, and the white rice, and once again, everything becomes fair game. You can’t afford enough meat and guacamole to go overboard at Chipotle.
Don’t even look at Panda Express.
McDonald’s can also be a God-send. Look past the Filet-O-Fish (my go-to in my fat days) and find any of the options with grilled chicken or just the burger patty.
I grab as many grilled chicken snack wraps and dollar-menu burgers as I can, remove the buns/tortilla, and gorge.
Pure protein from the chicken, and protein and fat from the beef.
Cheap and convenient in a pinch, and available practically everywhere in the world (if you’re traveling abroad, McD’s is a lifesaver for the aformentioned reasons and for reliable Wi-Fi).
These are just examples. So, when you’re out and about:
- Find lean meat i.e. if you’re at The State Fair etc., find the turkey leg, not the corn dog.
- Avoid fried food or food that is breaded
- Avoid food that lacks color (meat being the exception)
- Don’t eat potato chips.
- Steamed vegetables not fries on the side
- Avoid all beverages except water and tea/coffee
- Coffee is not:
- A frappuccino
- A mocha
- Any seasonally flavored/themed drink like Pumpkin Spice whatever
- A latte (you don’t need a giant cup of skim or 2% milk…or any milk at all)
- Get a drip coffee or an Americano. Caffeine helps blunt hunger and is a potent nootropic.
- Soda (diet or otherwise)
- Consider the quality not the quantity.
- Don’t be fooled by the relatively small caloric count of a Starbucks Cake Pop. Don’t eat that trash. Get their almonds instead.
- Look at the line
- If the everyone in the line is fat, that is a sign you shouldn’t eat there. Eat like fat people, look like fat people.
Fit people know how to hack through the unhealthy haze they’re presented with.
Great places to get a good meal on the go:
- Denny’s/Waffle House (just don’t get the waffles, pancakes, milkshakes or other crap. Eggs, bacon, cottage cheese, and chicken are cheap here).
- McDonald’s/ other fast-food joint (see above)
- Chipotle/similarly constructed buffet joint (see above-they all serve basically the same thing)
- Gas stations: find the “cheeseburgers” or sandwiches etc., remove the bread, buy some almonds or nuts and fruit, and get water. Every gas station I’ve ever been in has these things available. I have crossed this entire country by car at every hour of the day, and this holds true.
If you have to think twice about it, skip it. Keep your eye on the prize. Focus on the big picture. Do you want to change or not?
The only person you’re letting down is yourself. Stay accountable.
You’ve made it to the end of this article. There is no excuse not to eat healthy.