It’s easy to throw out your healthy eating plan while you’re traveling. Last year, we wrote about being a savvy/healthy business traveler, but whether the trip is for leisure or business, the constant rush of activities may make it tempting to stop at a fast food outlet whenever hunger strikes—or indulge in unhealthy snacks or beverages. If you keep healthy food choices on hand, however, you may maintain a healthy regimen during your travels with no regrets.
Here are some tips:
- Pack your own meal on the airplane flight or mode of transportation of your choice. This provides you with an alternative to eating the expensive and typically unhealthy prepared meals offered. Bring protein and nutrient dense dry food that won’t easily leak or get smashed in your bag. Examples include nuts, protein bars, and firm fruit, like apples.
- Drink plenty of fluids during your trip. If you can, choose water over other beverages while you’re in transit. Milk and juices are adequate, but avoid soda and an excessive amount of alcoholic beverages. Avoiding the latter is especially important for minimizing travel-related health conditions, such as jet lag and fatigue.
- Stock your hotel room with bottled water, fresh fruit, and healthy snacks such as granola bars or fiber cookies. Doing so helps remove the temptation to raid the room’s mini bar, and can be indispensable for staving off hunger between business meetings or tourist activities.
- Avoid fast food outlets. Although they may be a comforting choice when you’re in a new city, fast food options are often high in fat and calories and they cheat you out of experiencing the local culture. Wherever you decide to eat, focus on meals that incorporate healthy components, like fresh vegetables and lean proteins.
- Don’t forget to eat breakfast. This is often easier said than done in the whirlwind of a vacation or business travel. However, breakfast helps prime your system and prepares you for a full day of activities or business meetings. If your hotel offers a complimentary breakfast, choose a meal high in fiber and protein, such as whole grain toast with peanut butter, to give you instant energy and fill you up until lunch. This way, you may reduce the temptation to snack in a few hours’ time.
- Pack essential work out items. Start right away wherever possible (walking in the parking lot and airport, etc.) and check out the facilities such as a gym or park near your destination. Most importantly, stick to your routine as you would at home (no excuses!)
Taking care of yourself while traveling will stack the good health odds in your favor. Through preparation, pampering, attention to body cues, and diligent monitoring of changing conditions, you’ll lay the foundation for wellness so you can make the most of every moment.