If you’re like us it may be part of your New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthier. This can be especially hard when you’re traveling! We’ve put together a list of tips to help you stay on track, even when you’re on the road. Do you have some tips you’d recommend? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
1. Drink Plenty of Liquids. It can be tempting, especially when you’re taking long road trips or long flights to skip out on that extra sip of water to save yourself a trip to the bathroom. Don’t do it! It’s worth it to drink more water and stop more often (or use those scary airplane restrooms) because it will help you curb your cravings for those unhealthy foods offered so frequently in airports and gas stations. Bring along a water bottle (you can empty it out and re-fill it once you get through security at the airport), and then you save yourself some $$$, too!
2. Snack smart. Snacking is inevitable, especially when traveling. Whether you’re taking a long flight, road trip, or stuck in meetings all day, be sure to snack smart. Choose foods that are high in protein (like nuts and lean meats) to keep you fuller for longer. Need a quick pick-me-up? Grab an apple or and orange instead of a sugary drink.
3. Pack your own foods. A lot of the time, especially when I’m traveling for work – I know my mornings are going to be crazy. I usually pack my own food for breakfast (like these clif bars). It doesn’t take up a lot of room in my carry on, and then I don’t ever miss a meal. I found that this was especially important when I was pregnant. I can’t count the number of times my “packed breakfasts” saved me a lot of misery (and nausea!). 😉
4. Don’t be afraid to stop at the grocery store. We did this all the time on vacations with our family growing up, and I still do it every time I can find one! Not only does it save you money, but you can stock up on local fruits and veggies for snacking, and if you forgot to pack your own food (see #3), you can stock up on some non-perishables if you don’t have a fridge.
5. Plan ahead. This one definitely takes a little bit of time, but it can definitely save you from making rash, unhealthy decisions in the long run. You probably know where you’re headed at least a week or two in advance (and where your hotel/lodgings will be located), so look around for grocery stores, places you want to try, and you can even screen local restaurant menus for healthy options that still sound good.
6. Practice the “one a day” rule. While practicing this rule is not practical every time you travel, it is a good “rule of thumb” when you can. Growing up we did this, and my husband and I still practice it now as much as possible. It goes something like this: pick one meal/restaurant a day that you want to eat out and/or splurge on. Most of the time for our family it ended up being dinner, so we would eat breakfast at home, snacks that we had packed, a lunch that we had packed, and then choose a delicious place to eat for dinner. Not only will it save you money, but it will also save you a TON of calories from not eating out at EVERY meal.
7. Fill up on vegetables and fruits first. Be sure that you’re not skipping out on the foods that are actually good for you to be eating! If you have a continental breakfast, fill that plate up with veggies and fruits. If you are eating out more than once a day (see #6…), swap out some of your sides for healthier options. Most restaurants will substitute that giant side of fries that is going to make you sick to your stomach with some freshly steamed veggies or a local fruit salad.
8. Skip the high calorie drinks. This can be especially hard, especially when cruising! However, in the words of the great Jillian Michaels – “don’t drink your calories!” They are empty, leave you with a sugar rush (and crash), and add up quicker than you realize. Opt for water to keep you hydrated and full (see #1).
9. Huge portions? Save half, right off the bat. If you’re eating out more than once a day (or even if you are sticking to tip #6), you know that most restaurant portions in American are double- or triple-sized! You can always ask your waitress to pack up half the meal before you even get started. That way, you can eat the leftovers the next day (money saved!), and save yourself the feeling of “why did I eat all of that?”
10. Stay active! One of the best ways to stay in a healthy eating state of mind is to stay active. I’ve found that when I’m traveling, if I still take the time to squeeze in a workout or take the stairs, I’m a lot less likely to gorge myself on foods that are just going to make me feel sick. It also makes me crave more water, and helps me keep my focus on my goals. Plan a fun hike or bike ride to see the sights instead of just driving through them!
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