When I lost weight a few years ago, I rarely ate out. Fast food especially was the enemy!  However, life was much simpler back then. I lived in a pretty easy-going town in North Carolina and I was home long before 6 every evening to eat dinner. Now that I’m living in Northern Virginia, part of my weight issues is just time. Not as much time to cook, not as much time to work out. So this means being creative with time. And I’ll admit..we’re still working on it. (lol)

But..yesterday my husband and I both taught our individual Zumba(R) classes, mine being an hour away. So by the time I arrived home, we were both starving and were so busy last week, we never made it to the grocery store.

Grocery store haul

Excitement and tiredness got the best of us, so going to the grocery store to find something to eat was out of the question. Sound familiar to you?  So what do you eat?

Check the nutrition guide always!

I finally settled on Panera Bread. But knowing I was ravenous, I decided to go back to my old faithful days of when I was stricter on fast food. Check the nutrition guide! I usually settle for a salad there, but yesterday I decided for a sandwich & a soup. Thank God I checked..the sandwich I had in mind (as made normally) was over 900 calories! Switching breads for the sandwich and switching to the half vs. the full I saved almost 600 calories and about 40 grams of carbs.

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I tell people all the time, if you check the nutrition guide to your favorite eateries, especially fast food, you won’t eat it anymore…or at least not like you used to. I used to indulge in a large fry (I’m a sucker for potatoes, soft bread & chocolate..lol) but after seeing the nutrition value, never again. Now if I feel like I HAVE to have fries, I’ll get a small fry & really plan out what I’m eating for the rest of my day and try to get some extra exercise in there.

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Somethings are worth modifying so that you can enjoy your favs in moderation but you have to ask yourself, if a burger has 50 grams of pure fat (and some of them do), is that really what you want to put in your body? Ever?

You can eat it sometimes – you won’t die

I will caution you fast food is not the best thing in the world to eat ALL the time. However, for those with busy lives, it’s not practical to say never eat it. Just do it with caution, watch the portion size (I’ll sometimes split take-out in 1/2s or 13rds) and always, always,  always, check the nutrition guide.  We’ll talk more about practical tips if you can’t find the nutritional guide later.

And there you have it, a few practical ways to get (and keep you!) on your fitness journey!