Going on vacation is the best! What is not the best are the added pounds that can come with it. So many of us go on a diet and try to “be good” before our vacation so that we can splurge while we’re away. While that’s one approach, it’s not as realistic as trying to eat healthy while traveling (or at least some of the time when you’re on your trip). There are ways to eat healthy while you’re traveling so that you feel good, have energy for your travels, and stay on track.
Here are 7 tips for eating healthy while traveling:
Fill up on the good foods first! If you starve yourself all day to “save” calories for a splurge, it’s likely when you get to a meal you’ll make poor decisions and devour the bread basket the second it hits the table. Have a piece of fruit before a meal. Order plenty of vegetables so that you have healthy options to fill you up. Vegetables are full of water and fiber; that’s why they fill you up!
One of my favorite things when traveling is finding the local produce from the farmers market or local regions. Fresh produce is delicious and makes it easy to eat healthy when traveling!
2. Watch your portions
If there’s a dish you’re dying to try while traveling, of course you have to try it! That doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole dish though. When eating out, one of my favorite things to do is to share plates. This way you get to taste many different things. This is built-in portion control. Share your dishes with your travel partner and taste a variety of foods without devouring an entire entree.
3. Pack Snacks
If you’re out sightseeing all day, there’s going to be a point when you’re famished and will devour an ice cream cone for lunch instead of some protein–totally speaking from experience. However, if you pack some nuts and an apple in your bag, you won’t get to the point where you’re starving. Planning ahead and packing snacks will help you from making poor decisions when you’re in the dangerous hunger zone and buying a huge bag of Cheez-Its at the airport or gas station.
4. Careful what you drink
Don’t drink all of your calories! I love an aperol spritz, but you have to limit sugary drinks. Drinking calories is a waste because they don’t fill you up and it’s so easy to consume tons of calories this way. If there’s a drink you love that’s high calorie, just have one. Don’t drink several sugary high calorie drinks all in a row. Space your cocktails out with a Pellegrino or seltzer water with a slice of fruit. Another thing to avoid is juices. So many health influencers are trying to convince us to drink juices, but in reality they’re just fruits and veggies without all the water and fiber–aka the good stuff that fills us up! (PS-when you chew your fruits and veggies rather than drink them, it signals to your brain you’re full).
With that being said it’s important to drink lots of water to stay healthy while traveling.
5. Stay hydrated
It’s important to drink plenty of water all the time, but especially when we’re traveling. Airplanes dehydrate us. Vacation tends to come with added walking which can make us bloat. Sometimes when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just dehydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout your day and especially before your meal. This will help make sure you aren’t eating too much when you’re just thirsty. Staying hydrated is a surefire way to stay healthy when traveling.
6. Plan your meals ahead of time
Looking up restaurant menus so you can decide where you want your splurges to be will keep you on track and eating healthy while traveling. Research the restaurants and food options available at your destination before you leave. This way, you can make informed choices about where to eat and what to order. When you’re deciding what to order, choose wisely: When eating out, choose dishes that are grilled, baked, or steamed. Avoid dishes that are fried and battered.
7. Get moving
Besides eating healthy when traveling, it’s important to stay moving when you’re traveling.
I know, I know this isn’t about eating healthy but it’s so important! Use the stairs when it’s an option and try to fit in a workout. If you work on all these small things it will make a big difference! If you fall off the wagon, just get back on. Know that we’re all human and it can be hard to stay on track ALL the time. It’s much more important to enjoy your travels and the food that comes along with it than worry about the scale. If you make less than ideal choices one night, make up for it the next day. Eating healthy while traveling will leave you feeling well to enjoy your destination and day, even if it means one less aperol spritz.
Looking for more travel tips? Click here to read about managing flight anxiety.