Traveling can be an exciting time, yet at the same time, it is often stressful and rushed. If you are working on your diet, nothing puts a dent in it like a trip lined with unhealthy food choices like junk food and fast food.
So how can you continue to watch your eating habits when traveling without your kitchen? Read on to get some practical advice from those with experience;
- Bring Foods With You
“It’s easy to succumb to unhealthy foods at the airport when that’s the only option you have. Plan ahead and bring foods like nuts, avocados (if you can safely pack them), and protein bars that are higher in fats and low in carbohydrates and sugars so you don’t crash. These snacks should be higher in healthy fats so that you stay satiated and don’t have a sugar crash.” (Collette Stohler)
- Stick to the 80/20 Rule
“Relax, you don’t have to stick to healthy eating 100% of the time to get great results. You can still benefit from eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging (to a point) 20% of the time. This equates to about 6 days of healthy eating and one day of flexibility, which will help you not feel restricted.” (Collette Stohler)
- Practice Intermittent Fasting
“No one has ever said, wow, that airplane food was delicious. Flights are the perfect time to practice intermittent fasting – especially early morning flights and late flights. In the hunting & gathering days, humans regularly went hours and sometimes days without eating while they were hunting and foraging. During this time, the body uses up its sugar stores and burns fat. A popular way to fast is 16:8 – an eight-hour window of eating and a sixteen-hour fast.
“Pregnant women and persons with an eating disorder should avoid this.”
- Pack Healthy Snacks
“When you are traveling – whether by plane, car, train, etc. – pack a lot of healthy snacks. You want to make sure you always have enough, so pack more than you think you will eat. Things like nuts, dried fruit, and protein bars are a great way to curb your hunger with good calories. If you are concerned about eating out for every meal, book a place to stay that has a kitchen you can use. This will give you a little more freedom to prepare some healthy meals on your own without going out to eat.” (Brian Donovan)
- Find Healthy Restaurant Options
“Chances are, you will be eating out for most of your meals – and at restaurants, you’ve never been to before. Do some online research to find restaurants with healthy options before picking where to go. Luckily, most restaurants will have their menu listed online so you will be able to see exactly what choices you have to order. Try to have some kind of vegetable(s) with every meal, but also enjoy the local food there and don’t feel too restricted!”
Brian Donovan, CEO Timeshatter
- Picnic Instead of Going to A Restaurant
“One unexpected effect of traveling over the past year and a half has been a change in our approach to how we eat on the road. We’ve largely transitioned from restaurant stops to picnic stops. Though it started as a necessity due to COVID precautions, we now actually prefer picnicking whenever possible. This approach allows us to eat much healthier than our previous road trip splurge habits.
“We’ve also found some amazing state parks and picnic sites as a result. There have been several instances in which we’ve enjoyed a healthy lunch overlooking the ocean while the kids run around us. This experience wouldn’t have been possible, or nearly as affordable, at a restaurant.
“Now, we choose our restaurant meals much more carefully. They usually offer a unique experience and healthier options than our previous travel meals.”
Kristy Esparza, Founder JJ & The Bug
- Pack Healthy Snacks And A Collapsible Water Bottle
“One easy tip for eating healthy while traveling is to pack a variety of healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Snacks such as granola bars, almonds, popcorn, or dried fruit are healthy alternatives to the cookies and crackers you often receive on airplanes. Having healthy snacks on hand during your trip will also keep you fuller longer in case you face any unexpected travel delays.
“Aim for non-perishable foods that can be stored for long periods of time at room temperature and that don’t require utensils. It’s also best to pack items that aren’t messy and can be discarded easily. Just be sure any food items in your carry-on bag comply with TSA regulations. Most solid foods (not liquids or gels) are allowed.
“In addition, it’s a good idea to pack a collapsible water bottle to save space and stay hydrated during your trip. This will also keep you from reaching for high-calorie drinks such as juice, soda, and sugary coffee beverages. You’ll also save money from not having to purchase these often overpriced food and beverage items at the airport or during your travels.”
Allison Sicking Digital Marketer, Travel Blogger Viva La Travelista