Sometimes you get caught. It’s mid afternoon, and you haven’t had lunch and there isn’t time to make dinner before soccer games. The only thing to do is go through the drive thru…..How do you get in/out without throwing yourself so far into gluttony that you can’t get out for weeks???
Here are a few tips to optimize your experience until you can better plan for next time.
1. Skip looking at the pictures of food.
The pictures play into your psyche. You are already hungry, and pictures of food in mass quantities only make it worse. It’s like grocery shopping hungry…you buy more crap than you wanted and end up paying for it both in the wallet and later on, at your waste line.
2. Drink water before going thru the drive thru.
Your body may misread thirst as hunger. In this dry climate of Nevada, this can happen more often then we appreciate. But even if you are in fact hungry, filling your stomach with a large swig of water will help keep hunger at bay long enough to make it through the drive thru without ordering more than you need.
Drinking water in between meals will also help with hydration and digestion.
3. Skip the soda, bun and fries.
I am not going to talk about sugar or gluten or trans fats or even chemicals that don’t belong in your body, but if you are in fact hungry, you need nutrients. These items have negative nutrients. Meaning they require your bodies stored nutrients to process and give you nothing in return. In addition they leave you “fake full.” Your body may feel full, but it is temporary. Shortly you will be crashing (especially if you get the soda or bun) and will want to go through the drive thru again or feel the need to take a nap.
So ask simply for a hamburger with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. Many fast food places offer that, you just need to ask. Even sandwich places have that option. Instead of soda and fries, maybe get two hamburgers wrapped in lettuce. Although the quality of food isn’t ideal, there is more opportunity to gain the nutrients you need without the fake full feeling. For a Mexican place, you could simply ask for a taco salad without the tortilla. They have all the ingredients available already, you just skip the tortilla.
4. Pack snacks to have in the car for emergency use.
It is always better to have a plan.
When you leave the house in the morning, be sure to grab whole food items like an apple, carrots, orange, beef jerky, nuts and seeds or even a minimal ingredient bar. Having these things on hand in the car will also stave of the massive hunger and over indulgence while eating out.
5. Eat a whole foods nutrient dense diet, especially a protein packed breakfast.
If you spend most of your time eating whole foods, avoiding sugar, refined grains and processed foods, then your blood sugar will be better regulated. You will find your mid-day crash much less intense and easier to manage. A good breakfast could include some free range scrambled eggs with nitrate free sausage along side a large bunch of sautéed spinach and mushrooms. Fill your stomach with fuel it can use for the day, and you may find yourself less hungry and less need to even go through the drive thru.
Life can get hectic. In fact, you should expect the unexpected. Planning a good breakfast and having snacks on hand will save you the stress of going through the drive through and even may help you save money. Even the “deals” at a fast food chain will add up over time. Finding a better plan will set you up for success in health and in life.
Remove. Replace. Restore.
Remove impulse food purchases
Replace with snacks from home and fresh water. Eat whole foods based meals at home whenever possible to help regulate your blood sugar to ward off the impulse food purchase. Skip the pictures and drive directly up and simply order what you want, not what the picture sold you.
Restore health, blood sugar regulation and even a few extra dollars.
Eat well. Move well. Sleep well. Soar on.
Image Credit: Flickr Commons, Anthony Starks, license
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.