Your Travel Diet: Tips for Ideal Nutrition on the Go
No matter how diligently you manage your balanced diet routine, vacation or travel always holds a good tendency to hit the balance. When you’re catching early morning flights, staying in hotels or having back-to-back meetings, it can be a real challenge to stick to your perfect diet routine.
Cutting down on travelling is of course not a practical solution. So, how to take care of your diet to ensure that you do not end up messing up your previous hard work on maintaining your healthy dietary routine.
Luckily, there are smart ways to eat healthy while travelling. Whether you are enjoying your vacation or travelling frequently for work, following these steps would ensure that you do not derail your healthy diet pattern.
Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal of the day. Having a healthy breakfast motivates you to eat healthy during the day and avoid the unhealthy temptations. This is even more important while travelling. A nutritious breakfast gives a good start to the day and prevents unhealthy snacking later on. An ideal breakfast option to fill you up and boost your health will contain fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins & minerals. Many nutritious, healthy foods are widely available and are also easy to prepare and have on the go. e.g whole grain toasts, yogurt, eggs and many more. If you cannot spare time for breakfast, be prepared with some options such as fruit and bars, that you can easily have on the go.
High Fiber and High Protein Snacks
After breakfast, the second most important thing to stay on the nutrition track is to be mindful about what you have for snacks. It's always the best thing to travel with high protein and high fiber snacking options. When we have our own food or snacks, we have the maximum control over unhealthy choices. Hunger in between meals can lead to both overeating and unhealthy eating. There are plenty of healthy snacking options like fresh fruit or dried fruit, seeds, nuts and trail mix, roasted chickpeas, pretzels or whole grain crackers, nut butter, protein or granola bars.
Having your own snacks and avoiding fast-food restaurants can help reduce your over intake of sodium. If you are in a high rush to carry snacks, look for 5% or less daily value of sodium in food labels.
Only one Special treat
When you are on a vacation, your mind immediately takes it as a break from everything, including your perfect nutritional habits. While travelling, it then becomes an everyday habit. Of course, you cannot tell yourself to avoid the special treats altogether when you have taken time off to pamper yourself. The ideal way is to allow yourself to have a special treat once a day. This will save you from getting irresistible temptations which will always win over you.
Avoid the mini bar
Hotels always fill their mini bars with sugary, high calorie foods and drinks. Avoid the mini bar and instead visit the nearby local market to pick some healthy options. Make your own mini bar with simple foods like fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, low fat yogurt and cut vegetables
If you are prone to falling prey to temptations, you can consider calling the hotel to empty the mini bar before you arrive.
Foods for Better Sleep
Travel fatigue and jet lag can be one of the most inconvenient parts of travel, particularly in case of travelling long distances. Having a deep and long sleep can rejuvenate you for your travel time ahead. You should opt for foods that contain tryptophan, magnesium, melatonin and other nutrients that can help improve your sleep.
Nuts and seeds are a great option. They are filling and a good source of magnesium, which can help you have a deep sleep and can also help you to fall asleep quicker. It also helps the body relax. When you’re jet lagged and need to go to bed earlier than your regular body clock, eating some nuts and seeds is very helpful.
Caffeine and Alcohol
While on the go, we all tend to overdo with both alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine is often taken excessively when you are travelling for work. Alcohol usage is heavy in vacations. While both of these can help you in the first place. Caffeine keeps you active for work related meetings and finishing targets. Alcohol helps you unwind and gives you a real feel of the vacation. However, it is very important to stay average with both of these to work well for you whether you are having work related travel or vacation.
Cutting down on caffeine and alcohol can really help you rest easily and wake refreshed.
Dehydration is very common when traveling, especially when travelling involves a lot of walking. Don’t forget to drink a good amount of water while you're busy exploring.
Staying hydrated is crucial. Water aids in digestion and in many more ways. Try to limit alcohol as it can dehydrate you and add unnecessary calories. Excessive tea and coffee can also dehydrate you. Try to carry a reusable water bottle to always have water on hand.
Mindful eating encourages us to make choices that will be both mentally satisfying and nourishing to the body. When we are more aware of our eating habits, we are in a better situation to take steps towards behavioral changes that will benefit us to eat healthy. Try to have your servings in modest portions to avoid overeating.
Eat slowly, because when we eat slowly, we are more likely to recognize when we are feeling satisfied or nearly full. Never skip meals. If you skip meals, you are more likely to fall prey to hunger pranks, which will make you fall for the quickest and easiest food available. Such food options are generally not healthy ones.
Don’t Fear Fast Food
No matter how well you plan your travel eating pattern, there’s always a chance that you will get stuck. You can be at an airport or some place with only fast-food restaurants. Don't panic in these situations. Even the fast food restaurants have a few simple and healthy options. You can always modify a less healthy option by making changes like watching the dressing and croutons. Wendy’s has baked potatoes with broccoli. Starbucks offers nutritious breakfast and snacks. They have healthy food options like protein boxes with hard boiled eggs, oatmeal and egg bites. Skip the fancy coffee drinks and opt for regular coffee or tea. Most fast food restaurants have the salad option. Skip the fries and soda.
Enjoy your vacation
You should try to make healthier choices on vacation without making yourself feel restricted. The basic thing is the balance. Enjoy your vacation, try new foods mindfully, and give yourself a treat occasionally, but don’t let food be the major focus of your trip. It’s better to think of it as your time to eat healthy, relax and recharge.
Wear comfortable shoes
This doesn't directly affect what you eat. However, walking can certainly help balance out the extra calories we tend to consume.
Walking is the best way to explore a new place and it also helps you stay active. Wearing comfortable shoes can help you to walk more and burn off those extra calories.
Travel for work or pleasure can become stressful and can challenge you to practice healthy eating. You can win this challenge by adopting mindful eating. It's always the best thing to carry a good amount of some healthy options like nuts and seeds, fruits, whole grain crackers, nut butter and protein or energy bars.