From flying to roadtrips, traveling can be stressful when you’re trying to eat healthily. Often it’s far easier to grab a gas station corn dog than it is to find a good restaurant or whip up a salad. It’s fun to enjoy different foods while on vacation, but I wouldn’t exactly call the corn dog’s ensuing heartburn fun. Thankfully, healthy eating while traveling is possible. Here are five tips to avoid putting on the pounds while on vacation.
Make the effort
Really try. This sounds easy, but you’d be surprised. Most people on vacation eat whatever they want, then return home dejected and regretful because they put on 15 lbs. So at the airport or gas station, look for the healthier snacks. Most convenient stores provide some sort of healthy option, such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs, vegetables or fruit.
All gas stations will have a healthy snack section — even if it’s small, it’s there.
This can be as simple or as extreme as you want. You can buy your favorite healthy snacks before hitting the road, or even meal prep for the entire trip, pack it in a cooler and bring it with you. This may be slightly trickier for air travel due to the rules around food at airports, but it’s still doable. Most airports don’t mind if you have some fruit or packaged foods like protein bars with you, just check the rules. So before your next trip, set some time aside to run to the store and buy some snacks or prepare some meals.
This may be the hardest tip to keep the weight off on vacation. It’s so easy to eat rich, delicious, fatty dishes for every meal, but this a sure-fire way to gain weight. So rather than indulging on the fries and cream sauces for every meal while traveling, try to set aside one meal or restaurant as your extra indulgent treat, and the rest of the time lean on the healthy side. That’s not to say you have to eat one kale leaf for dinner every day; the healthy food on restaurant menus are delicious too. Try to find those plates that are a little lower in carbs and fats, and higher in protein and veggies. Find the healthy section on the menu or ask your waiter.
Even popular vacation spots have healthy restaurants. Before your next trip, hop on the internet and search for healthy restaurants wherever you’re going. Immediately you’ll be greeted with a list of options to eat at during your trip. However, you might not have a say in where you and your friends are eating that night. But don’t worry.
Plan ahead and find the restaurant menu online to see what you’ve got to work with. If there doesn’t seem to be any healthy options, try asking for a side of vegetables, some chicken, or a delicious salad.
This is one of the most helpful ways to stop snacking, whether on vacation or not. The feeling of thirst is actually very similar to the feeling of hunger. So when you’re on a trip and feel the urge for a snack, try drinking a bottle of water first. Wait 10-15 minutes, and if you’re still hungry, then have a snack. Most times you’ll find the feeling has passed.
Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow. She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.
Main Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Mix and Match Studio/shutterstock.com