With your new diet and lifestyle, you look and feel amazing and have lasting energy. Now, you're worried traveling will wreak havoc on your progress. In fact, when traveling, it's pretty common to pack on a couple of pounds, have low energy and feel less than your usual self.
For instance, I was gone 15 days out of the month. I was able to enjoy a vacation and traveling for work while maintaining my health goals! The best part, it was easy, I still enjoyed my time and had fun. Today I want to share the secrets of my success. I want to share with you how to keep off the pounds and stick to your health goals when traveling with these 5 simple tips.
1) Pack Smart
Have you ever noticed that you tend to get more hungry when traveling? I know I do, I'm not sure if it is my nerves of traveling, boredom or all the delicious smells coming from the endless restaurants and snack stations at the airport. Where are the healthy options that taste good and are affordable? It's too easy to choose unhealthy options that pack on the pounds and leave us feeling tired and even hungry a few hours later. However, do not have to fall trap to their sneaky marketing strategies, instead, have your own strategy.
Pack healthy foods. Did you know it is OK to pack snacks in your checked or carry-on bags? I was weary at first, but now I never travel without my snack packs. And, when I am traveling during meal time, I bring a healthy meal with me which tends to be left overs, a big salad or a healthy option from the grocery store. Did you know you can bring a separate bag of food and they do not count it as your carry-on or hand-bag?
The key is to plan ahead; pick up healthy snacks during your regular trip to the grocery store and pack them in your carry-on or in a separate bag. Plan 1-2 snacks per day that you are gone. Gone for longer than a week? No worries, you can pick up your next healthy snacks at a grocery store near your hotel or have them deliver.
Some of my favorites to pack: Apples, nuts & seeds, Larabars, Rxbars, Super Oats
I put these in plastic bags in my suitcase to prevent any accidents with my clothes. I like these options because I do not have to worry about refrigerating them. However, feel free to choose healthy options you prefer. These snacks will also keep you from overeating if you are eating outside of your normal time schedule. That's because when we wait to eat until we are really hungry, we tend to eat more calories we would not have consumed if we ate when we first got hungry. Let snacks keep you from getting to the really hungry point.
2) Decide ahead
Often times, when we are with a group or in a new city, the hardest decision can be to figure out where to eat. And let's face it, the majority of people are fine with anything, especially when it means they do not have to make the decision. Therefore, I encourage you to take this opportunity to suggest a restaurant. I typically look for a restaurant that has a variety of options including healthy ones which are becoming easier to find.
Most importantly, look at the menu and decide ahead of time what you will order before you get hungry. This way, you take out the emotion of deciding and instead make a rational decision of what to eat based on your health goals. Then, don't budge, stick to your decision. If someone really has an opinion of where to go, that's ok, there are typically healthy options at most restaurants. If not, do not be afraid to ask them if it would be ok to pick a restaurant that has more of a variety to satisfy everyone's preferences.
3) Apply the BDD Rule
When on vacation or traveling and it's a special treat, pick one: bread/appetizer, drinks or dessert, instead of all three. The first "B" stands for bread or appetizer and would include any bread, rolls or appetizers throughout the meal. Also, slow down and enjoy a small portion of it. Often times, we eat and do not even take time to really savor our food and we end up eating more because we are not paying attention. The first "D" stands for drinks, which would include any caloric drinks such as sweet tea, lemonade, soda or alcoholic beverages. Again, sip it and try to enjoy just 1-2 drinks. Or choose to flavor your water with lemon or have unsweetened tea. The second "D" stands for dessert. If you're really craving something sweet, share it with a few people so you enjoy it together and you do not feel obligated to eat it all yourself.
4) Share a meal
Restaurants are notorious for serving large portions of calorically dense foods. To combat this, split your meal with someone or ask to receive a half portion. Another option is to pick 2 items from their small plates selection. One of my favorite things to do is split a meal and order an additional salad to split as an appetizer. That way you get some nutrition in and you start to fill up on healthy foods first.
5) Get Moving
Traveling is typically the perfect opportunity to get moving. If you have extra time at the airport, go for a 15-30 minute walk, your luggage can act as a weight to make it more like a workout!
Take some time to explore your area either during the day or in the evening. Choose a restaurant you can walk to and enjoy site seeing on the way there and back.
Pick a hotel with a gym. That's right, I want you to get up and workout or at least go for a long walk before you start your day. If you are traveling for work, this can give you the extra energy you need to be at the top of your game, especially if you are feeling jet-lagged. If you are on vacation, let's face it, nothing typically happens before 10:00 am. Why not get active for at least 30 minutes before starting your day? You'll be surprised how much more energetic and relaxed you will feel. Plus, if you had a little too much to drink the night before, exercising can help cure your hang over, I like to think I'm sweating out all the bad stuff! I know this may sound crazy but give it a try and see how different it makes you feel and enjoy your traveling experience.
Basically, it comes down to planning. But don't worry, it only takes a few extra minutes and then you are set for success and can enjoy traveling while maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
Don't let traveling halt your progress. Apply these 5 simple tips and enjoy every minute of your next trip!
Bonus: Combating breakfast
Breakfast is now served in most hotels. The problem: the healthy options tend to be limited. Instead, bring your own, I like to pack my Super Oats, you can find a video and recipe by clicking here. Combine your super oats with dairy or nut milk and fresh fruit such as berries and bananas. Or, order a savory omelet with a ton of veggies (some of my favs are spinach, mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes). Remember, you are in charge of what to eat, not your circumstances. You get to decide what, where and how much.