Contributed by Rachel Jackson
One of the times it can be hardest to maintain a healthy diet is while traveling. Whether you’re buying snacks for a road trip, flying to the other side of the world or raiding the hotel mini-bar there’s always the temptation to pick the unhealthy option when it comes to food and drink. With a little bit of forward planning, you can make sure not to overdo it on these bad choices while still enjoying your holiday.
- Bring your own food for the journey
No matter the form of transport – plane, train, boat or car – BYO food is usually the healthier, and tastier, option. When you have food with you, you’re far more unlikely to make a snap decision to grab a fast food meal or bag of chips. For longer journeys, plan to have a proper protein-rich meal before you leave and pack a stash of healthy snacks for when you get peckish.
- Travel with Healthy Snacks
When you’re on holidays you often don’t have access to a fully-stocked pantry. Usually, you’re out exploring so keeping nutritious snacks on you throughout the day is a good way to keep your body (and your wallet) happy. Snacks like granola bars, nuts, and veggie chips are convenient to throw into a bag and pull out whenever your stomach starts growling.
- Prepare food when you can
When you can, prepare your own meals to avoid eating out. This can be hard if you’re staying at a hotel but it can still be done. Buy your own supplies to keep in the fridge. Fresh fruit, yogurt, and whole-grain cereals can all be kept in your hotel room meaning you can have a healthy breakfast ready in a matter of minutes. You can easily prepare your own lunch with ingredients like fresh bread, cheeses, and vegetables from the grocery store. Find local markets and buy fresh fruits and vegetables to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
- Be conscious when eating out
Depending on where you are on holidays, eating out may be your only option. The best way to make healthy choices is to do some research about local restaurants and the food available. Review sites can help you find the most suitable venues with the healthiest options. Be wary of portion sizes – often restaurants can give you huge helpings that you don’t need. Look for options like grilled meat and fish, salads or vegetarian alternatives and avoid deep-fried, salty foods.
- Stay Hydrated
One of the biggest mistakes people make in terms of diet is confusing hunger with thirst. Most of the time when you think you’re hungry, you’re just thirsty. Staying hydrated while traveling, whether you’re lying on a beach or skiing down a mountain slope, ensures you don’t overeat throughout the day. Keep a reusable water bottle on you and try to avoid alcohol and sugary soft drinks that can dehydrate you.
- Have a routine
Although every day might be different when you’re traveling, one thing that helps with sticking to healthy habits is trying to eat at the same time each day. Even if you’re on holidays, make an effort to eat your meals at roughly the same time every day.
- Everything in Moderation
One of the most important things about traveling is to enjoy yourself. Stressing too much about food or overthinking your food choices will only ruin an otherwise relaxing experience. Be aware of eating healthily but make sure to try the local cuisine and treat yourself occasionally. If you’re struggling to know how often to have a cheat meal, try the 80/20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time and then for the rest of the time indulge a little!
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about traveling, education, and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset.com – an online resource for relevant business information.