5) Speedy Sustenance
There’s nothing like the open road: wind in your hair, elbow resting on the windowframe, music pumping, not a car in sight. Also not in sight: lean protein options. Road-tripping may be part of the American dream, but it also means you may have to hit up that all-too-American icon - the fast-food joint. When faced with a menu overflowing with diet pitfalls, what do you choose?
a) Big Mac, medium fries and a chocolate milkshake
b) Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich and a Fruit ’n Yogurt Parfait
c) Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and a Diet Coke
True, choice A may be the perfect complement to your road trip, but it will do nothing to perfect your physique. At first glance, B looks like a good option. The sandwich is a chicken breast, grilled, served on a honey-wheat bun. The sandwich and the parfait are part of McDonald’s push to offer healthier choices, but together, those pseudo-healthy options contain a staggering 82 grams of carbs.
Eat that, sit on your bum for the next 300 miles and you’ll arrive at your destination with more baggage than you left home with. Instead, opt for the Caesar salad, and make sure the chicken is grilled, not crispy. With 220 calories, 30 grams of protein and only 12 grams of carbs, you’ll be traveling light. And we don’t even mind if you supersize the Diet Coke. So the answer is C.
6) Adventures in Vending
It’s one of those crazy Mondays. Not only was your train late, but you left your lunch in the fridge at home and Outlook is pinging endlessly to remind you of all the meetings you have this afternoon. Your only choice for some sustenance is the office vending machine. What should you choose?
a) A bag of Sun Chips and a bag of trail mix
b) A pack of cheese and crackers and a granola bar
c) Doritos and M&Ms
Sure, Doritos and M&Ms might quiet your rumbling stomach before your 2 o’clock, but with the rush of sugar and resulting insulin crash, you’ll be snoring (and increasing the size of your fat cells) by 3. Similarly, those cheese-and-cracker packs and granola bars are stuffed with fast carbs and trans fats.
Even though Sun Chips may not seem much different from Doritos on the surface, they’re made with whole grains - corn, wheat and oat flour - which means each 1-ounce serving contains 18 grams of fairly slow-digesting carbs. Couple that with the protein from the nuts in the trail mix (pick out any fruit bits for a lower-carb meal) and you have something to tide you - and your muscle mass - over until you can down your preworkout shake. So the answer is A.