Healthy Eating on the Go: A Guide to Dining Out, Traveling, and More

A nutritious diet is a crucial component of good health, but it isn’t always simple.

Healthy eating, in addition to exercise and stress management, lowers the risk of lifestyle diseases and aids in the management of health conditions.

The ordinary American, on the other hand, does not consume a very nutritious diet. Using the most recent data from 2015, the US Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index gave the average American diet.

When you’re away from home and on the road, maintaining a healthy diet might be difficult.

You may be tempted to skip meals. It may also be difficult to choose where to buy low-carb home delivery meals, what to carry in your lunch bag, and how to keep a balanced diet while dining out.

This detailed guide will show you how to eat a healthy diet while on the run.

The fundamentals of good nutrition

You need a range of nutrients from the five food groups — dairy, protein-rich foods, grains, fruits, and vegetables — to eat properly.

Each food group has a distinct nutritional advantage, so by mixing them, you can obtain a broad range of nutrients that promote excellent health.

Foods from each category include:

Milk, cheese, yogurt, lactose-free milk, fortified soy milk are all dairy products.

Seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products are all high in protein.

Wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, and barley are examples of grains.

Fresh, canned, frozen, or dried fruits, as well as 100% fruit juice Fresh, canned, frozen, or dry non starchy vegetables (raw or cooked) and 100 percent vegetable juice

MyPlate is a meal planning and nutritional guide that encourages people to eat well. It was created by the USDA using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

It suggests eating whole grains for at least half of your grains, changing your protein sources, and opting for low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

To acquire a variety of nutrients, try matching foods from at least two food groups when putting together a healthy plate, whether it’s for a meal or a snack.

How to put a nutritious dinner on your plate

Non starchy veggies like spinach or collard greens should make about half of your plate.

Then, depending on your preferences, fill one-fourth of your plate with protein-rich items like chicken, fish, or navy beans. Finally, add grains like rice or quinoa to the remaining one-fourth of your dish.

Example 1 of a healthy meal: baked garlic butter chicken with stir-fried vegetables and rice

A cheese sandwich made with whole-grain bread, cottage cheese, and sliced tomatoes is a healthy dinner example number two.

Snacks that are nutritious

Combine a grain with a high-protein, high-fat, or high-fiber food.

Mixed meals with protein, healthy fats, and fiber take longer for your body to absorb than grains alone. This makes you feel fuller for longer, which can aid with weight loss and blood sugar control. Example 1 of a healthy snack: an apple with nut butter Example 2 of a healthy snack: yogurt with dried fruit and nuts

What Happens If You Skip Meals?

You might be wondering why missing meals is so detrimental.

Skipping meals isn’t harmful in and of itself, but it might cause you to get ravenous later, forcing you to overeat at your next meal or eat unhealthy snacks. When we’re hungry, we’re not always the best at choosing good food choices.

If you find yourself in this situation frequently, it may be beneficial to have pre-prepared food on hand to grab and go when you’re in a hurry.

However, studies have shown that skipping breakfast isn’t always hazardous for you. It’s fine if eating breakfast (or meals at any other time of day) isn’t part of your daily routine.

Some people skip meals on purpose for religious or cultural reasons, or while they are fasting intermittently. However, this is more often than not preplanned and is not the same as skipping a meal because you’re in a hurry.

When you’re on the road, here’s how to eat healthy in five scenarios.

Scenario 1: You’re in a hurry to go out the door.

You’re not alone if you find yourself rushing out the door in the mornings without a plan for breakfast or even lunch.

During my dietetic internship, I was frequently confronted with this situation. I frequently skipped breakfast unintentionally due to a lack of sleep, high stress, and a lack of meal planning. We can see the value of meal planning and preparation in this case.

Even if you can’t modify your hectic schedule anytime soon, you may prepare yourself to nourish your body despite the stress.

You’ll become more organized and intentional about eating healthful foods in the morning if you plan your meals ahead of time. It will also assist you in avoiding unintended meal skipping.

Preparation ideas

Make your preparations the night before. The night before, prepare your breakfast and morning snack. For a quick grab-and-go option, overnight oats and chia pudding, for example, are simple to make. To stay hydrated, bring a lunch bag with your meals and a reusable water bottle.

Smoothie tote totes To make one serving of smoothie for a quick drink before heading out, prepare bags full of premeasured smoothie components.

Purchase or manufacture your own health bars. Protein or energy bars might be a quick snack on the way out the door or while driving until you can sit down and eat. Ensure that the bars you buy have a lower sugar content and a higher protein, fiber, and other nutrient content.


You can become more organized and mindful about your food intake by preplanning your breakfast meal and morning snack. It will also assist you in avoiding unintended meal skipping owing to your hectic schedule.

Scenario 2: Going out to eat

Despite the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans’ major source of food each week is eating out — or ordering in.

Americans will spend $659 billion on restaurant and foodservice sales in 2020.

Dining out, of course, has its advantages. The cuisine may be extremely delightful, and dining with others is a fantastic way to mingle with others. It’s also a good chance to try different foods and cultures.

It’s critical to learn how to eat healthy whether ordering restaurant cuisine or dining out to support your whole lifestyle.

Here are some tactics and tips to help you stay on track:

Make preparations ahead of time. You can look at many restaurants’ menus online. Make a list of the dishes you’d like to taste ahead of time. When putting together your meal combinations, keep the basic principles of healthy eating in mind. Sizes of portions. Before you start eating, request a takeaway container to save any leftover food that will be too much for you to consume. Then, rather than eating until you’re full, eat until you’re satisfied.

Deserts are also appropriate. Healthy eating does not imply avoiding foods that you enjoy. However, you should consider restricting the amount of food you consume. Choose tiny deserts or share deserts with others to do this.


Dining out — or ordering in — remains popular in the United States. To eat healthy while dining out, look over internet menus from a downtown Cincinnati restaurant ahead of time and make a plan, watch your portion sizes, and choose smaller or shared desserts.

Social gatherings (Scenario 3)

Potlucks and other family and social gatherings bring people together to enjoy food and each other’s company.

Healthy eating is achievable even with traditional recipes and soul food.

Consider the following suggestions:

Don’t scrimp on calories. Instead of trying to “reserve space” for later by skipping meals before the event, eat consistently

throughout the day. You won’t arrive at the event hungry, and you’ll be less inclined to eat past fullness and contentment. Bring nutritious food to share. You can bring a dish that satisfies both if you have particular dietary restrictions or simply want to share a favorite recipe with your family or friends.

You should try a little bit of everything. Without overfilling your plate, try a sample of everything you enjoy. To avoid the stomach pain that comes with eating a huge quantity, portion size and attentive eating are critical.

Take pleasure in the discussions. Keep in mind that the gathering.


Even with traditional, calorie-dense meals, healthy eating at family gatherings is achievable. Consume calories throughout the day rather than conserving them for the event, bring a nutritious dish, and concentrate on the conversation and people at the gathering rather than the food.

Scenario 3: You’re on the road.

For some people, traveling can be a stressful experience. Many people find it challenging to eat healthful foods when on the road. It doesn’t help that the majority of food options at airports and other travel hubs are fast-food restaurants.

Having a plan will save you the worry and difficulty of searching for healthful snacks along the way, whether you’re catching a flight or getting ready for a road trip.

Snacking is a good idea when traveling. It’s also a way to avoid being extremely hungry and then overeating at your next meal (6Trusted Source).

Because it’s not possible to bring a lot of fresh food on a trip, we’ll concentrate on healthy eating with nonperishable snacks:

Fruit that has been dried. For a quick snack on your travel, bring raisins, dried cranberries, freeze-dried mango, or any other dried fruit of your choosing. The greatest part? They all contribute to your daily fruit consumption.

Nuts and seeds are two types of nuts and seeds. Another simple and easy-to-pack snack for healthy eating on the road is these sources of healthy fats and protein. To prepare a trail mix, combine nuts and seeds with dried fruits and store them in compact resealable bags.

Protein or energy bars are two options. An energy bar can be kept in your handbag, carry-on luggage, travel essentials pack, or any other convenient location where you can reach it when you’re hungry. Select bars


Travel can be stressful, and finding nutritious snacks and meals can be difficult. Bringing dried fruits, nuts, and protein or energy bars with you will help you stay full between meals and prevent overeating later.

Scenario 4: Getting ready to enter quarantine

As my son and I discovered when we returned to Trinidad and Tobago from the United States, quarantine has become part of our “new normal.”

You may be asked to stay in a hotel, quarantine facility, or at home for a period of time with no outside contact.

Access to food may be limited in any of these conditions, and finding nutritious options may be difficult. Although meals are provided in quarantine facilities, the menu may be limited.

During this period, it’s critical to keep well-nourished and hydrated. It’s also a good chance to have some healthy snacks, especially if you’re going into quarantine with kids

Here are some healthy snacks to bring:

Fruits that have been dried Flavor, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients abound in them.

Crackers. You can use whole grain crackers or any other type of cracker. Nuts and nut butter are delicious. Serve with crackers or dried fruit as a side dish.

Tuna or chicken in a can. These are protein-rich and available in a variety of tastes. They’re delicious with crackers or on their own.

Granola or protein bars. These snacks are nonperishable and come in a variety of flavors.

Water in a bottle. If you don’t have easy access to a water fountain to refill your reusable water bottle, bring little bottles of water with you. Teabags are used to make tea. During your quarantine, you may have access to a kettle and mugs in your room to make your favorite tea.

It’s critical to snack carefully wherever you’re isolated. Because you’ll probably be less active during this time, eat to your heart’s content but not to excess.


To stay healthy under quarantine, bring dried fruit, crackers, almonds, and nut butter, canned tuna or chicken, protein bars, and tea bags.

The main concern

Good dieting when you’re in a hurry can be testing, yet with sufficient arranging, it is conceivable.

Apply the fundamentals of good dieting to boost the sustenance you get from your suppers and tidbits.

Regardless of whether you’re surging out in the first part of the day, feasting out, going to a family assembling, voyaging, or in any event, heading into isolation, these tips can save you the pressure of realizing what to do as such you can keep sustaining your body.

To your amazing health

Ulrick Brooks


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