making the best available choice
Sometimes the perfect meal isn't available.
Maybe you're with friends and you didn't get to pick the restaurant. Maybe you're traveling. Maybe the day got out of control and you just realized you didn't eat lunch, and now you're about to shove anything you can find down your piehole..
So what should you do in these situations? Do the best you can.
- Portion Control - the best defense against both "over loaded with calories" restaurant-type food and "empty calories filled with crap" foods from a bag. Take a few bites - eat enough to hold you over, and limit the damage.
- Liquid Calories - you know about sodas and sweetened drinks. But don't forget about sauces, cremes, dressings, etc., just waiting to sneak calories into your body.
- Less Processed - the closer you can get to "real" food, the better. Whole is better than parts, and grilled is better than breaded.
- Fewer Adjectives - the more spectacular the description, the more calories. Ultimate usually means gigantic. Deep fried and smothered with cheese means run away as fast as you can!
- Salads and vegetables - If these are available, load up on them first. You'll take the edge off your hunger without doing damage to your nutrition plan. (but beware of "salads" that are more mayonnaise than vegetable..)
- Skip a meal - If you're looking around and thinking the best choice available is 1,000 calories' worth of cheesecake, remember you do have an option to skip the meal entirely. Even if you eat a larger than normal dinner, you'll still be ahead for the day.
Health is a journey.
Some days are great; some aren't so great. But health comes from having lots of good days and not too many bad days. You don't have to be perfect every day, but you do need to make good choices consistently.