Eating healthy can be a daily challenge –– especially when you’re on the road. But part of the fun of traveling is trying out new foods and delicacies. Choosing the healthiest options for every meal isn’t always easy, but one key to proper nutrition is to balance out the “good” with the “bad.”
Long business trips, vacations, and short getaways are great excuses for breaking diet restrictions, if only for a little while, but it’s better to try to keep a healthy routine while traveling.
Here are a few ways to think and eat healthily when you’re traveling.
Planning ahead is key to healthy snacking. Fill a travel bag with fruits, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables. Focusing on complex carbohydrates, nutrients, fibers, proteins, and the “good” fats helps to increase and maintain energy while promoting good digestion.
Prepackaged foods are convenient, but the overly-processed stuff isn’t always the best choice for healthy eating. Still, non-perishable foods are good choices for those moments of boredom while in transit.
Meals on Location
Eating while traveling lets you test the culinary waters in ways you’d never otherwise consider. Eat what you want, but do so in moderation –– this way, you can enjoy high-calorie foods without feeling guilty. Also, exercising helps burn the extra calories, so take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk a few blocks instead of driving.
The old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day still rings true. Eating in the morning (or after you wake up, if you’re a late riser) jumpstarts your metabolism and burns calories. Food restores blood sugar levels that get your brain and muscles into gear.
Some wise breakfast foods are:
Hotels offering breakfast buffets can be quite tempting –– use your best judgment and load up on high-protein foods like eggs and sausage instead of bagels or muffins.
Lunch And Dinner
Lunch is different for everyone. If sandwiches and subs are your things, load thin slices of whole-grain bread with meats, cheeses, and veggies. Skip the fries or chips and add fresh fruit or a salad instead.
Dinners out offer a wide variety of meal choices. Menus often note calorie amounts per item, and some will provide basic nutritional information. Try anything that looks good to you but skip appetizers and desserts and keep alcohol intake to a minimum. Calories vary, but alcohol is fattening.
Restaurants and “Home” Cooking
Local culture and cuisine offer a variety of tastes. No matter where you travel, salads and fresh vegetables are available at most restaurants. Check online menus to map out the meal in advance. Eat healthy by choosing greens over fried sides.
Hotel rooms sometimes come with kitchenettes and utensils. Cooking while on a long vacation or short holiday may not be the most fun thing to do, but doing so helps reduce the rich, high-caloric foods you’re eating in restaurants –– and you’ll save a few bucks too. Visit a nearby grocery store and look for locally sourced foods.
Leave the Food Stress at Home
It’s hard to keep tabs on healthy eating when you’re away from home, whether across the globe or in the next city. Motivation and discipline are keys to cutting calories, but stressing over failures is counterproductive. Plan to eat well but don’t worry about splurging on the good stuff.