We all know how difficult it is to eat healthy and stay active while travelling. If you aren’t eating on the go then meals generally involve lunch or dinner engagements with business associates including large and unhealthy meals. So what is the solution? You have a travel itinerary, so why not have a diet and exercise itinerary? The key to eating well when traveling is to plan your meals in advance and be prepared. Below are a few tips that can help keep your eating and exercise regimen in place while on the road.
Call ahead to the hotel you are staying at and request a menu. If you know in advance what the menu looks like, you’ll be better prepared to choose healthful choices after a long day’s work. If they do not have healthy choices on the menu then request the chef to prepare a healthy meal option. It is always helpful to familiarize yourself with the surrounding restaurant options as well. When in a pinch, you’ll know where you can grab a quick bite that won’t derail your diet.
• While traveling, it is easy to get dehydrated; this feels the same as being hungry. Drink water and wait 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry. And as a standard, keep a water bottle on hand, as staying hydrated will help you feel more energized, can help fight illnesses and will ward off feelings of headaches, back pain, muscle weakness, fatigue and dizziness (all of which come with dehydration).
• When traveling and working, stress will make you eat faster (hyper-active fork syndrome). Be mindful of eating slower and taking time to enjoy your meal. One method to eat slower is to eat with your non-dominant hand.
• Have a snack in between meals to take the edge off your hunger so you’re less likely to pig out at meals. Snacks should consist of fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat proteins, and whole grains, with carbohydrates, proteins and fats being well balanced. One way to ensure you are snacking in a healthy way is to pack your snacks and carry on in your luggage. Airports also now have healthier food options if you are wise with your choices.
• When consuming alcoholic beverages, remember to drink equal amounts of water.
• While eating out, consider specifying to the waiter to that you want no salt and less butter/oil. Ask for more spices such as garlic, red pepper, etc. Most spices can increase the rate that your body burns calories.
• Stay as active as you can. Take the stairs when possible and walk to your gate and around the airport if you have extra time verses sitting and waiting for departure.
• Choose a hotel with a gym and know what equipment they offer so you can plan your workout. Try to work out in the morning as it will increase your metabolism throughout the day and you’ll be more likely to actually get your workout in.
• When ordering food at restaurants, remember, the chef doesn’t know gender, age and weight of the customers, thus, portion size will always be the same. Ask about portion size before ordering or ask them to put half in a to-go box. Request that all sauces and salad dressings be put on the side and make sure vegetables (not the creamed ones) is the majority of your plate.
Eating on the road can be a hard one to maneuver. Keep your choices sensible and don’t let one bad decision ruin your whole trip. If you do eat an unhealthy meal, pick right back up with good choices and stick with them. Good luck!