It can be difficult to maintain healthy travel habits whether you are on vacation or traveling for work. The temptation to indulge in fast foods, unhealthy snacks or rich desserts can be overwhelming, particularly when stress is a factor. However there are things you can do to reduce temptation:
Plan Ahead for Healthy Eating
Often in the whirlwind of new experiences, meal planning gets left at the roadside. It’s good to be a little spontaneous, and to try local restaurants or join new friends over a meal. However, bad planning can mean that you are too hungry to restrain yourself, even at healthy meals, or that you just jump at the first chance to eat, whether it is a bad meal choice or not. Plan ahead, by packing high protein or complex carb snacks, such as nuts, fruits, grainy crackers or trail mix. This way, even if you aren’t around an appropriate place to eat when you get hungry, you won’t be tempted by convenient fast food places.
It’s also important to make sure you know approximately when you’ll be eating during the day. Remember that if you are on vacation, or even traveling for work, you are likely to be more busy and active than you might be at home, and you will probably be hungrier so regular meals are important. Make sure you have a large, healthy breakfast to set you up for the day, as well as plenty of breaks for snacks and meals.
Bring It with You
Often the meals offered by flights or at road stop diners aren’t healthy and are high in fat or based on starches. So, if possible, bring your own meals with you while you are on the go. While you can’t bring liquids onto a plane, in most cases they will allow you to bring solid foods, particularly for national flights. When on a road trip, pack a cooler and fill it with healthy snacks and meals.
While you might be getting more cardio exercise than you are used to, you probably won’t be getting much resistance training. If your hotel offers a gym or a pool, then take advantage of it, but if not, pack a couple of resistance bands, or a podcast training program. You can also use the chair in your hotel room to assist you with chair dips or perform squats against the wall. Use your imagination!
Eat the Right Types of Food
Teach yourself to navigate menus. Traveling involves a lot of restaurant foods, and there will always be good and bad meals to choose from. However, avoid picking a favorite “safe” food and sticking to it, as you need a wide range of different types of foods to stay healthy. Also, be aware that the rules change depending on the country you are traveling in. For example, stick with well cooked vegetables rather than fresh ones in developing countries, or wash fresh ones in a dilute bleach solution before eating them.
Traveling doesn’t have to mean a constantly splurging on forbidden foods. With careful planning and sensible choices, you can come back from your trip looking better than ever.