Watching Your Waistline

With the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start eating healthier. It’s difficult to watch what you eat on the road, but there are a few changes that can make a difference.

Stay away from fried foods. That is always an easy way to cut back on fat and avoid clogged arteries. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich in place of a fried one, and try to skip the fries as often as possible.

Go for variety. Eating a burger and fries once or twice a week is not nearly as damaging as eating them every day. Try a deli-style sandwich or a hoagie. Munch on baked chips instead of fried ones.

Eat smaller portions. Although they seem like a bargain, meal deals often provide too much food, which people feel obligated to eat. Try to order only enough food to satisfy your hunger.

Spread out calories. Do not make a habit of eating your biggest meal right before you sleep. Aim for three meals a day, plus snacks. Your daily calorie intake should be spread out among your meals.

Skip the sweets. Ending your fast-food order with a chocolate shake may come naturally, but the extra treat also means extra calories without the extra nutrition. For a healthier option, choose fat-free frozen yogurt, or a high-energy, vitamin-fortified smoothie.

Eat healthy snacks. Foods like fruits and nuts make great between-meal snacks when you’re on the road. Keep a stash of good snack foods on hand and use them to boost energy and take in vitamins as you drive.

Be aware of what you’re eating. Keep track of your daily calorie intake. Know if you’re getting the recommended amounts of each food group, especially fruits and vegetables. Don’t cheat yourself: Ketchup is not a vegetable.

Balancing the right kind of diet with enough exercise and good sleep habits can go a long way toward losing weight, maintaining high energy levels and creating an overall healthy lifestyle.

Jessica Mansell is a journalism major at The University of Alabama.

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