The title of this article is a contradiction within itself, but bear with me and I’ll attempt to paint a more vivid picture and provide a full explanation.
OK here goes; it’s the early hours of Sunday morning and you have finally decided it’s time to hang up your dancing shoes and leave the nightclub that only two weeks ago you swore you would never visit again! By this point you’ve already consumed a fair amount of alcohol and your mind now switches to the subject of food. From Monday to Friday your body is a temple with a selection of only healthy dishes but it appears you have lost your mind and you must have some greasy food. Your ability to resist temptation finally breaks as you stumble into a fast food chain at 4am in an attempt to give your body exactly what it needs just some twenty minutes before you make it home and pass out; a double cheese burger, large fries and a full fat coke to wash it all down!
How is this picture looking so far? It’s fair to say that most – if not all – of us have experienced this type of scenario at least once in our lifetime. In fact, there’s probably a few of you reading this article right now thinking to yourself, I did the exact same thing only last night! We understand that every once in a while everyone needs to let their hair down and enjoy a night out. With this in mind, the aim of this article is to educate you as to how to make the best of a bad situation, attempting to eat as healthy as possible following a night out. Consider it a damage limitation exercise if you will!
Making Fast Food Healthier
Before moving on to consider ways to make fast food healthier let us just consider the statistics of one of the nations most famous fast food meals, a Big Mac meal go large; 1350 calories, 194 grams carbohydrates, 54 grams fat, 31 grams protein and 1470 mg sodium! The statistics on this meal alone are quite astonishing and for an individual in training, this additional calorie consumption could at best be avoided.
For those of you that regularly utilise cardiovascular equipment at the gym, you will appreciate how much hard work and effort goes into burning 1350 calories, so let’s now take a look at a few simple methods to make your fast food experience a healthier one:
- Consider your options: Depending on which fast food chain you stumble into will ultimately determine your range of choice. Before ordering, consider the types of products available and steer clear of anything fried such as fish and chips. If available, opt for alternatives such as a grilled chicken breast in pita bread. It will taste better too.
- Stick with the regular size: If you already have a burger, fries and coke – do you really need to make that meal any bigger? Research has highlighted that fast food chains already oversize their portions anyway so by asking to ‘go large’ you are simply consuming food which your body doesn’t required and further adding to the thousand plus calories.
- Change the menu: Many fast food chains nowadays all have their franchise selling products available with endless toppings and extras. By removing sections of that particular burger, for example the bacon, extra cheese and mayonnaise, you create a unique burger for yourself that will not only satisfy your hunger but also your waistline.
- Swap that coke for water: By simply altering the drink selection to water, your meal becomes instantly healthier. Firstly, if you have been out all night drinking then your body will be in a state of dehydration which is best replenished only by water. Secondly, by opting for water and refusing coke you are massively reducing your calorie intake.
- Make it yourself: This last option is ultimately determined by how organised you are. If you know you’re going on a night out and know that at the end of a night you turn into a hungry hippo then why not plan ahead and prepare something in advance that you can devour on your return home? Not only is it healthier but it’s much cheaper too.
There you are, five simple ways to reduce the damage limitation on both your body and subsequent training following a night out on the town. With regards to the latter ‘make it yourself’ tip, a word of advice; if you’ve not already prepared something before you go out then it’s probably not worth attempting it on your return. The kitchen can be a dangerous place when being under the influence of alcohol turns you into Jamie Oliver!