Tips for Eating on the Run and Still Hitting Your Macros

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Macros work best when we plan, prep and execute.  But, sometimes, we find ourselves with a minivan full of kiddos, a crazy schedule to keep and we have failed to pack a lunch.  So, what now?  

Option A: Proceed to HANGER and not eat until you get home. 

Option B: RED DAY…eat all the bad things you can find out in the suburban wild.  

Option C:  Venture bravely into the taboo world of food on the go and STILL HIT YOUR MACROS.

Before we dive further into these options, I want to reiterate that home cooked options are best for our macro and financial budgets.  I am not advocating a “fill your macros with unhealthy foods” approach.  What I am saying is that macros are sustainable because when you know what macronutrients make up food, you can make some decisions on the go that will help you stay on track even if they aren’t the most nutrient dense options.  It is all about balance.

Option A: Proceeding to HANGER with a mini van full of kids is a bold move, friend, and not one that everyone will survive unscathed.

Option B:  Shifting our minds from the all or nothing approach is part of the long term sustainability of a healthy relationship with food and success with macros!  Don’t blow the whole day.  Make the best possible choice.

Option C:  Food is fuel.  It is neutral.  Some foods are more nutrient dense than others, but you can still find balanced macros in the fast food world. 

Here are some tips to eating on the run and still hitting your macros:

Play around in MFP and know what your options are within your macros.  (Look for the green confirmed check marks and double check things from websites if you need to.)  Things I know:

  1. I can always make an Egg McMuffin work. It is actually a pretty sound macro choice.  Sometimes, I even eat the hashbrown. 
  2. Starbuck’s Sou vide Egg Bites, Protein Box, and a Bacon Egg and Gouda Sandwich are all delicious and doable.
  3. Chick Fil A Nuggets are the bomb.  I can spare the carbs for 1/2 a pack of Polynesian Sauce, but not the fat for Chick Fit A Sauce.  If I am willing to eat egg whites or tuna later, I can even swing a small or medium fry. (Note: I eat the fried nuggets because they taste better.) 
  4. A Whopper with Cheese No Mayo can fit into almost any day for me.  In and Out tastes better, but I am not usually willing or able to pay the macro fat tax.
  5. A Grilled Chicken Club No Mayo from Carl’s Jr. is actually pretty awesome macro wise. 
  6. A Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a great fit even with the honey mustard sauce. 
  7. A deli sandwich with double lean meat is always a win.

Things to consider when eating on the run:

      1) Have some go to options that you are familiar with and that you know work with your macro budget.

      2) Beware of sauces and especially mayonnaise.  They can bankrupt you quick.

      3) Fried foods will bust you fast too.  Very few are doable, most are not.

      4)  Going without cheese can make a big difference.

      5) Avoid trigger spots.  If Taco Bell brings out the 4th Meal cravings of your college days, avoid it.

      6) Fast food is high in sodium, so don’t freak out if you retain water the next day.  Drink ALL OF THE WATER and move on.

     7) Plan to go home and eat vegetables and more nutrient dense foods.  

Even with the options above, these foods are high spends, so be prepared to be hungry sooner and plan a filling nutrient dense dinner. 

As I mentioned before, macros work best when we plan, prep and execute. Home cooked is always best and honestly, it tastes better.  But, when you are committed to long term success, it never hurts to have an on the fly contingency plan.

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