How to eat right when you can't eat right
Happy September!

There are times that it really is pretty hard to eat right. Some of the times that might come to mind are backyard parties, vacations, weddings and cruises. Or maybe when you're super busy running kids between ball games, school events and doctor's appointments. How about Cubs games? I mean seriously, how do you eat right at a Cubs game? These situations can be challenging but in most cases there is a way to save the day. Let's take them one at a time.  
1. Fast Food

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When you're bouncing between T-ball, band practice and parent teacher conferences, sometimes your only realistic option is fast food. But even fast food can be made a lot healthier. The single best thing you can do is to order the burger without the bun and just eat it with a knife and fork. If you're more of a chicken sandwich person, again, take the bun off. And grilled chicken is way better than breaded chicken. You could skip the fries but at least get a small order instead of large. Then opt for water instead of soda.

2.  Backyard Parties

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Eating right at parties is really not as hard as it seems. The secret is to fill up on healthy food before you arrive. That way, you can have a little of everything at the party so no one is offended but you won't need to eat so much that you feel guilty later. Or if you are taking food to the party, just make sure you take something super healthy. That way you ensure that at least something there is good for you and you'll be a great influence on your friends at the same time.  

3. Cruises
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Oh come on. This is the dream scenario for those trying to eat well. There is a huge variety of healthy food, you don't have to shop, cook or do the dishes. What more could you ask for? If you can't eat right on a cruise then you're really not trying very hard. Still want to throw reason to the wind on your cruise? Have fun. Just be ready to hit it hard when you return. I find that most of my patients gain at least 5 pounds during a 7 day cruise.
4. Weddings
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I'll admit this one is actually close to impossible. You're out of the house from morning to late at night, possibly in a town you are not familiar with. Furthermore, you're in a celebratory mood and the alcohol is flowing freely. To make it worse, the menu is predetermined and limited. You really are kind of trapped. The only thing I can suggest is that if you have time to stop between the wedding and the reception try to grab something healthy so you aren't as tempted when the bread basket arrives later. Past that, just have fun and don't do anything you'll be embarrassed of later!
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David J. Barnes, DO
Medical Director, Weight Loss Rx

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