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6 minutes reading time (1215 words)

Beating The Midnight Munchies


 In law enforcement graveyard and swing shift can be two of the busiest shifts. Yes, of course, Dayshift can be hectic too. In general, I am talking about crazy busy in the sense of humping in-progress call after in-progress call. As a patrol officer, you do not always have the time or the luxury to sit down for a meal let alone a warm meal. After your shift, you most certainly do not have the energy to go home, meal prep and bring all of your food. Even if you do meal prep, which is half the battle, and bring your food with you, have it strapped in like the precious cargo it is in the passenger seat next to you, there still is no guarantee that you will eat it. There will always be excuses such as; you don't want to eat it cold, you don't have time to stop by your department and warm up your food. Or you plain do not want to eat what you brought. It doesn't sound good at the time, so you turn to the drive-through it's faster it's quicker it's more convenient. I get it. I understand that easier is sometimes better. Unfortunately, our diet, way of living, our goals of weight loss or just our bodies as a whole can suffer because of those decisions. Even though we have the want to eat better, it doesn't always necessarily happen that way. I searched for a few restaurants that hopefully are near you, or you are familiar with in your city. These are the top 5 24 hour run restaurant chains that I found so I went through to find out what could be your best option when push comes to shove. I hope you find this helpful.

Before I jump in, I wanted to throw out a few quick ways to cut back at any restaurant or drive-thru near you. When it comes to drinks, you can cut out a lot of unnecessary calories by sticking to water, unsweetened iced tea, hot tea, or black coffee. Are you not ready to go cold turkey on that yet? When it comes to additives, just start tapering it off slowly, such as half the cream, almond milk, skim milk, a smaller dose of honey, or one less sugar packet. I find that baby steps are a great way to start making a habit into a lifestyle change. Salads are also an option everywhere. Everyone has them. To save a few calories there use only half the packet or dip your salad into the cute little cup they gave you. I bet you will find that you did not need all that dressing and you saved a few calories! Score!

#1 McDonalds
Oh, McDs! I lived at this place as a child! Every Wednesday was the day I would go with my family and friends, and now I never go! However, when you are strapped with options, you gotta do what you gotta do! Am I right? So here are some options outside of the Big Mac, large fries and a diet coke.
  • Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. (You can leave out the cream and the cranberries)
  • Pico Guacamole Burger. (You can leave out the cheese and the ranch sauce)
  • Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich. ( You can leave out the bread, have it open-faced, or make it protein style.)
  • Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. (You can leave out the cheese & tortilla strips)
  • Snacks. Stick to the fruit and yogurt parfait, apple slices, and go-gurt (yes I realize it is on the kid's menu but so what!)

#2 Dunkin Donuts
I have never been here myself, so I cant give you any first-hand knowledge other than their packaged coffee is my favorite! I only found two that I could honestly try to suggest. I discovered that even their oatmeal and the muffin was chalked full of sugar!
  • Veggie Egg White Wrap
  • Egg & Turkey Sausage Sandwich

#3 IHop
Again going back to childhood I loved this place as a kid! There was nothing more to making me happy than having that cheesy smiley faced pancake! However, now as an adult, my metabolism has slowed down, and I can not eat as I used too! I saw they added a "Fit" section, pretty good!
  • Make Your Own Omelette & Scramble. (Choose Egg whites, load up on the veggies, I like to add in salsa and jalapenos for that added spice, and add a side of avocado, for that healthy fat option!)
  • Mixed Fruits, Steamed, or Grilled Veggies (As your sides of choice.)
  • Simple & FIt Two Egg Breakfast. (Choose egg whites, turkey bacon, &wheat toast.)

#4 Jack In The Box.
This place was my go to during my graveyard days in dispatch. I would always order the Sourdough Jack, Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges, and a medium Dr. Pepper. That meal was just a tad over 1700 calories and 86g of fat! No big deal, at least back then, so I thought. So if I had to eat there now, here is what I would most likely choose (disclaimer, I couldn't get ahold of their ingredients and nutrition section.
  • Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club. (Choose not have the dressing, cheese, & bacon.)
  • Any of their Grilled Chicken Salads. (Remember to forgo the cheese, & 1/2 the dressing.)

#5 Dennys
It seems, in California at least this restaurant is in every city! My meal of choice for those graveyard years was the Moons Over My Hammie and washed down with a vanilla shake. Oh if I could have only told myself to knock it off way back then!
  • Wild Alaskan Saloman Filet. (Choose grilled, steamed veggies, or fruit as your side, instead of the potatoes.)
  • Sirloin Steak. ( Choose grilled, steamed veggies, or fruit as your side)
  • Kids Menu. Grilled Chicken On A Stick. (I choose to ignore the 12 and under rule, I see it as a guideline and if you are ordering to go, how are they going to know right?)

Hopefully one or more of these restaurants are in your city. If they are not an option, I am hoping that you can take some of these suggestions and change it up to the places that are readily available to you. There are always options and better choices. I will always try to choose fresh foods over anything else. I do realize that this isn't a one diet fits all, there are so many diets out there! If you want to see what you are eating and why you might not be losing the weight you want or as quick as you want I suggest that you download the MyFitnessPal app. It is an eye-opener. If you would like to know ballpark what macros you should be eating feel free to reach out to me and I can get you set up! If you are serious about getting your diet dialed in with a fitness plan to get your body moving in the direction you want it, reach out to us on Team Fit For Duty! 

"Don't ask why healthy food is so expensive. 
Ask why junk food is so cheap."

by unkown

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