Traveling can be a challenge balancing a nutritious/active lifestyle while enjoying yourself, but it’s possible. There are actions you can take in advance to continue to make progress, or to not undue progress you’ve made.
The most important thing to do is be mindful. Don’t overindulge on treats just because you’re away from home, but also let yourself enjoy time away to enjoy your trip, which always includes food. The key is balance. Try to be 30% active to maintain your current weight, that includes walking, which most of the time you do on vacation anyway. Be mindful of the energy balance equation of "calories in versus calories out" to keep yourself from overeating. Gaining weight occurs when you consume more calories then you are expending over a period of time.
When eating out, be aware of serving sizes. A good rule of thumb is a palm size worth of protein, fist size vegetables and try to eyeball ¼-1/2 cup carbs. If you are able to, look ahead at the menu and pick your best option. Don't be afraid to ask the waiter to hold the butter, oil, salt. We pay for our meals, we have the right to ask. Sometimes if they can't accommodate you, they will recommend an alternative to help you stay on track. If you order a salad, ask for additions like croutons and cheese on the side and order the dressing on the side and drizzle it over yourself using a fork. Another dressing alternative is squeezing fresh lemon juice on top and a couple dashes of salt/pepper!
5 MAJOR TRAVELING TIPS TO SET YOU UP FOR SUCCESS:
1. Plan ahead and pack right-Pack some active wear and pack your tennis shoes! That way, you know you have the opportunity to do something active rather than make excuses not to.
2. Move your body-It’s OK if you can’t make it to the gym on vacation, in fact, sometimes it’s good to take a break to re-energize your goals. However, that’s not an excuse to not be active on vaca. You can plan fun activities that allow you to explore while doing something positive for your body. For example, if you’re heading to the beach, take a surf lesson, rent a kayak or do something as simple as a 20-minute walk on the beach. If you’re heading to a National Park, add in a hike! Or if you’re traveling to an urban area, rent a bicycle and take in the views. Making activity a priority will help you maintain your current physique or help burn off some of those vacation meals we all tend to indulge in, rightfully so.
3. Sleep counts-Avoid pulling all nighters! Your body needs rest on vacation and sometimes we tend to jam pack too much into our itinerary. It’s crucial to rest, so our bodies have the opportunity to rest, re-charge and rejuvenate. When we’re well-rested, we perform better. Don’t obsess over any time changes, adjust your clock before you leave to reduce jet lag. You could also pack sleep essentials to help you with rest. For example, a sleep mask, ear plugs, melatonin and download the fan app or sound machine app on your phone to create some background noise.
4. Make balanced food choices-Splurge in moderation and make an effort to eat foods that nourish the body. Of course many of us like to let loose on vacation and taste test local delicacies wherever our travels take us and that’s ok. Enjoy your breakfast pastry, then go for a colorful salad for lunch with protein and then enjoy that steak dinner with some veggies and a side of mashed potatoes. The key is finding a balance. You don’t have to cut all treats out of your diet, just make an effort to be more selective about your indulgences.
5. Practice self care: It’s easy to pick up illnesses on vacation because you are in a new environments filled with people and germs, like the airport, public transportation, hotels, etc. Make sure to wash your hands and/or carry hand sanitizer to help keep germs away. Also, make sure to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated!
Healthiest airport snacks:
First things first, you can pack food in your carry on, just make sure to follow the liquid rule, nothing over 3 ounces. I always make sure to plan some healthy snacks to avoid getting foods not so nutritious for me at the airport. I’d rather save my calories for donuts, desserts, pizza and drinks on vacation then indulge at the airport. It’s all about being selective and indulging on the foods you love, not just filler foods because you’re on vacation.
Here are some traveling food recommendations that you could pack with you during the flight or to have on the go, just to make sure you’re eating enough and to help curb any major cravings:
*Oatmeal single serving packets-Then head to a coffee shop and ask for a cup of hot water to add your oats in. Pack some fruit to add to it, like ½ of a banana and some low calorie sweetener.
*Rice cakes + single serving packets of almond butter (Check out Justine’s brand. They have them at Whole Foods/Sprouts)
*Dark chocolate-limit to a couple pieces to take care of any dessert cravings throughout day
*Chunk light tuna packets (Watch sodium levels)
*Protein powder for shakes
* Low sodium beef/turkey jerky
Let’s say you don’t want to pack any food ahead, that’s ok, too. Here are some healthier options you can find at the airport:
*Reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich-Starbucks
*Pre-made salads from places like Einstein Bagels
*Carrots + hummus packs from gift shop
*Greek yogurt with fruit from gift shop
*Whole eggs from gift shop
These tips are to help guide you to ultimately make the best decision for your health/goals. Once you have the knowledge, you can apply this information to situations in your life. Prepare to succeed and you will feel great inside & out!