page contents

Eating On The Road

The following is an excerpt that is taken out of the Nutrition section of my new Online PT eBook for the Coach Seán Online PT CAM Programme. Enough plugging...

Healthier options like the Happy Pear and Chopped are starting to become more common place but it can still be difficult to find a healthy option when on the go or if you travel a lot in your job.
The major problem with eating on the road is that the food is usually highly processed, high carbs and low on fibre. It can lead to a sugar spike. Eating highly processed food regularly can lead to weight gain as your body does not deal with the sugar levels as effectively over time. There’s a lot of salt added to the food to try make it taste nicer as well. This can lead to us feeling more bloated as well. That quick fix usually doesn’t feel worth it after we’ve eaten it. But there are times where we’ve no choice but to eat this food due to life. No matter how prepared we are for the day ahead, life can always throw a monkey wrench into our plans so here are a few of the ‘healthier options’ we can eat when traveling or on the road at night

Burger King
You can find the calorie count for all of Burger King’s foods here. In terms of the smallest amount of calories in their beef or chicken meals, the Hamburger is your best bet at 262kcal. It is also the lowest on the sodium(salt) count. Hold off on the mayo. Not only because it is extra calories but it’s the devil’s sauce. Nasty stuff that ruins any meal. The Hamburger is best if you need something small to tie you over until the next day. If you haven’t eaten much all day however, maybe try the tender crisp chicken. It has 638kcal but if you haven’t eaten, it does have the highest amount of fibre and lower on sodium in comparison to their Royale options. If you are hungry and have eaten very little all day, have two and get rid of the buns on the second one. Once again, and I can’t stress this enough, especially if you’re going for the slightly better chicken: Get rid of the mayo. Horrible stuff. 

Controversial. Putting BK ahead of Mickey Ds. They’re both terrible but sometimes a necessary evil when there is nothing else and you’re traveling. McDonald's nutrition information can be found here. And before you click the link, McFlurry’s have a little over 300kcal. I know you were thinking it. And no, I’m not recommending you have a McFlurry. I will give McDonalds credit where it’s due, they do a nice americano. I’ve heard that from others as well. As well as two quickly researched webpages here and here. I also remember hearing from a barista, who was brought in to train us back in my bartending days, claiming that the nicest place you could get a coffee was indeed McDonalds. Ok, I admit it, I actually did not attend the mandatory barista day. But it is true that he said it. You’re not going to get a healthy breakfast here, however. Your best bet at 345kcal is the Bacon and Egg McMuffin. It’s lowest on sugar and salt as well as having roughly the same amount of carbs as it’s higher sugar and salt alternatives. Cheeseburger, no cheese, for the same reasons and similar calories as the hamburger in Burger King. There’s only 190kcal in their Grilled Chicken Salad but if you’re looking for a meal, that is not going to fill you and it has only slightly less sugar and salt than the Bacon and Egg McMuffin.

A barista couldn't teach me these skills. Coffee was nearly "Frozen" by the time I perfected it. See what I did there... cold... frozen... ok, I'll let it go

A barista couldn't teach me these skills. Coffee was nearly "Frozen" by the time I perfected it. See what I did there... cold... frozen... ok, I'll let it go

According to this article the best pizza to eat in Dominos is to build your own Pizza with two medium slices of Grilled Chicken and Jalapeno Pepper Pizza on Brooklyn-Style Crust (390 calories, 15 g fat (5 g saturated), 1,090 mg sodium, 4 g sugar, 18 g protein). I’m not so sure that that’s going to be a realistic order to ring up on Saturday night in. The nutrition information is available here. Look, you’re not going to get a healthy option. Forget about it. If you’re ordering a Pizza, you’re looking for a treat. Your best bet is to order a Pizza that you will enjoy but to limit your calories and have smaller meals than normal throughout the day. You know a pizza is going to be pretty damn high in calories if the nutrition information only gives you per three slices instead of the whole pizza or in Papa John’s case, 1 slice. Although Apache have a decent drop down menu for their nutrition information while I couldn’t find any nutrition information for you Mizzoni lovers except their Wagon Wheel weighs 2kg. Thin based, less sauce and leaner proteins might damage the blow a little. As long as you enjoy the food on this cheat meal rather than slightly healthier options and not liking it. That would be a complete waste of a cheat meal.

I see nothing wrong with this logic

I see nothing wrong with this logic

‘Eat Fresh” is a fantastic tagline that makes you think you’re eating healthier food. It all depends on what you’re putting on the sub that makes it healthier. The 9 Grain bread is arguably your best choice at 205 kcal for the 6 inch and less sugars than the others. Full nutrition information here. The amount of sugars in their salads are pretty high so I would stick with a 6 inch sub. Load up on the veggies (they're free) and go wth your favourite meat ideally chicken or turkey. I know you don’t need a reminder on what to do with the mayo.

Breakfast Roll. With the breakfast roll you get your protein, healthy nutrition through the eggs, the super food in black pudding and… God no, a breakfast roll is not a good choice. Just checking if you’re still reading. But the main reason I bring up the breakfast roll is to give you some heartbreaking news on black pudding and associating it as a superfood. Actually, I can’t tell you. It’s just too much. But I can guide you to a link that will tell you how it was all just a marketing ploy and there really is no such thing a ‘superfood’.

A salad bowl is your best bet at a deli by the way, once again depending on what you order for said salad bowl.

Garage/Shop with no deli
Never ideal but you are very limited with options here. A small bag of nuts and a banana would not be too bad. For convenience, I do occasionally grab a protein bar of some sort on the go. They’re not the worst in the world as long as you don’t rely on them and are eating 3-4 a day.  Each Fulfil bar, for example contains roughly 200kcal

The food in KFC is pretty high on sugars and salt.  However, a while back a meme went viral comparing a KFC meal to a Lean in 15 meal and which one was actually healthier. The main argument being that the KFC meal had 620kcal less than Lean In 15 author, Joe Wick's meal.

Which one would you prefer?

Which one would you prefer?

There are a number of things to note about this picture. Most of which have already been covered in this section so far. The calories in a single meal do not matter as much in the bigger picture, as it depends on what you have eaten throughout the day. We're looking at the combined total of your meals. The calories are clearly a lot higher in the Lean In 15 meal. However, if you are on your last meal of the day, haven’t eaten much and are under 1000kcal of your target calorie intake for the day then it should be no brainer on which of the two meals you are consuming. There is more nutritional value in the Lean in 15 meal, regardless of fat content. Especially with how both meals are prepared. And if you are on a low carb diet, this should not concern you either. And the last, absolute most important thing about this “meme”. Despite all the arguments online about this as documented here. It seems that most people forgot one very important John Oliver rule: Memes are not facts .

If you check the KFC’s own nutrition information. The Original Recipe Rice Box actually has 800kcal. An extra 300kcal, or a McFlurry extra, than claimed in the meme. It has 108g of Carbs as opposed to 61g and double the amount of fat as well. It still has less calories than Joe Wick’s Lean In 15 meal. If the main point of the picture in the first place was that the Lean In 15 meals do not show their nutritional content then I can see what they were trying to illustrate. (I genuinely don't know how that meal is portrayed in the book so it would be unfair to comment with certainty). However. Treating any healthy meal that is 1100kcals as a 500kcal meal and thinking you should be consuming more will not be helpful in benefitting your fat loss goals.

As always, be careful with everything you read on the internet and keep an open mind in making your own decisions before jumping to conclusions. After all, some of you may still not be convinced that McDonalds actually do a great black coffee!