Sometimes we all fail to prepare our food for the day at work or simply on the go. Life happens, we are all human! We’ve written articles such as Healthy Fast Food and Flexible Dieting that detail how you can avoid wrecking your diet and hit your macros via nontraditional means on occasion, and this one will serve to detail what shop bought carbohydrate, fat and protein sources we recommend and use ourselves regularly when caught short.
What are Macros?
This term is the abbreviation of ‘macronutrients’: the grams of carbohydrates, fat and protein found in a piece of food. People often say “I haven’t hit my macros for today.” Meaning he or she has more grams of one or more of these macronutrients to consume before they hit their daily limit of each macronutrient.
For a more conclusive breakdown of macros, why you need to, and how to easily count/track them please see this article.
But if you do get caught short, then we have some shop based ideas to assist you too:
Shop Bought Carbohydrates:
- Wholemeal breads: sliced loaf, pittas, rolls, wraps, square wraps, bread thins, rye and pumpernickel, oat bread, sprouted grain bread.
- Rice and corn cakes.
- Oat cakes/biscuits.
- Low fat crisps and popcorn.
- Rice: i.e. Uncle Ben’s multipack bags (3 x 130g bags) and 250g express rice microwave bags.
- Quinoa and lentil express microwave bags.
- Baked bean pots.
- Microwave oats/porridge pots.
Shop Bought Fats:
- Humus and reduced fat or combination varieties.
- Butter and oils.
- Coconut pieces.
- Avocado (or guacamole).
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, brazils, mixed nuts, etc.
- Nut butters (try to avoid options containing hydrogenated oils).
- Oily fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines.
- Dark and regular chocolate.
- Cheeses: (normal and low fat varieties) cottage, quark, grated cheddar, babybels, laughing cow, etc!
- Red and green pestos.
- Ready-made salads: pint nut and feta, balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, etc.
Shop Bought Protein:
- Pre-cooked chicken and turkey breast pieces or fresh cuts from rotisserie sections.
- Pre-cooked darker meats: beef, lamb, pork, duck.
- Pre-cooked fish: salmon, cod, hake.
- Biltong and beef jerky.
- Ready-made protein drinks.
- Canned fish: tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon.
- Protein bars.
- Good quality sliced meats.
Shop Bought Vegetarian/Vegan Protein Sources:
- Non-dairy milks.
- Regular dairy products: cheese, milk, etc.
- Nuts and seeds.
- High protein grains: lentils and quinoa.
- Boiled eggs and egg fillings.
- Edamame and french beans.
- Green peas.
- Tofu and tempeh salads.
- Cooked shrimps, prawns, mussels, scollops.
- Cooked fish: hake, salmon, mackerel.
- Canned fish: tuna, salmon, crab, mackerel, sardines.
Other Useful Shop Bought Foods:
- Ready meals.
- Pre prepared salads.
Good Quality (Fast/Efficient) Restaurants:
- Pret (‘protein pot’).
- Reputable independent (street) food stands- generally in city business districts.
We would suggest prepping food for the working day in advance as this will undoubtedly save money and time in the long run against buying meals at the shops or restaurants every day! However, when caught short all and any of the above are useful go to options, but try to moderate the inclusion of options such as ready meals and heavily processed meats where possible.