Obstacles to a Diet During Travel
Travel during the holidays presents several road bumps. Road trips, air travel, changing schedules, eating Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, Chanukah and its emphasis on dairy and foods fried in oil. The list of challenges is as endless as the different ways we celebrate the holidays.
The key to travel is to know before you go. Pack single-size serving of healthy snacks to have during the drive so you are not stopping to pick up the family size bag of chips to munch as you drive. Broccoli, celery, and apple slices are convenient and filling. For a protein rich snack try beef jerky (just watch the sodium level). Drink plenty of water. It may lead to making more stops, but staying hydrated (and feeling full) will help to keep you from snacking out of boredom. Try to stick to your meal schedule. Delaying meals can lead to unnecessary snacking or once you do sit down for a meal, you are so hungry that you order the first thing that looks good.
Know the best options for you at major restaurant chains before you go. While traveling you might have no other choice but eat at a restaurant. It is better to know the basics of the chain restaurant menus so you have the information needed to choose a meal on the spot. Most major chains also have dishes that are labeled as light or lighter. Try to choose from those when possible.
Make wiser choices at the big gatherings. While you cannot change what food your Great-Aunt Bertha may be offering, you can make wiser choices. Try to avoid high fat foods such as those that are fried or have an unhealthy dose of mayonnaise or cheese added. If all else fails and Aunt Bertha gets pushy, take smaller portions. Most important: stop eating when you are full!
Staying in a Hotel. Ask for a room with a refrigerator so you can store your healthy snacks and water and avoid the vending machines. Look for a gym, pool, or other exercise options when choosing a hotel. If the hotel does not have those facilities, do some simple stretching exercises in your room or walk a lap or two around the hotel grounds (if it is safe to do so).
Best Ways to Navigate these Road Bumps:
- Bring your own healthy snacks.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Maintain your meal schedule.
- Have a plan for eating at restaurants.
- Avoid high-fat holiday foods.
- Stop eating when you are full.
- Avoid vending machines.
- Continue to exercise even when traveling.
- Practice portion control.