Summer is here which means warmer weather, longer days, weekend get-aways or maybe that long anticipated vacation has finally arrived. You’ve worked hard all year to save money, get in shape and now here comes the reward. There is just one tiny wrinkle: our fitness achievements are now in jeopardy of going sideways the moment we see of an-all-you-can-eat buffet.
The following are a few easy to follow tips that will still allow you to indulge a bit when traveling without going overboard (pun intended) and completely crushing your healthy diet and fit lifestyle.
1. Choose Foods High in Protein
We tend to eat out more when we travel. For some of us this is the best part: partaking in new foods we wouldn’t normally eat at home. When eyeing those mouth-watering buffets and all you can eat menus, try and choose protein over carbs. This will help stabilize your blood sugar and curb cravings for unhealthy sugary foods or carb-heavy options. Plus protein will stay with you longer and give you the energy for that fun excursion or next item on your agenda.
2. Eat Small Amounts S-L-O-W-L-Y
Research has shown we are more likely to binge eat when we travel. By limiting your calorie intake in a single sitting will give you the energy without feeling like you just lapsed into a food coma. Eat slowly, enjoy the ambience, savor the texture and unique tastes in your mouth. You may find you eat a lot less when you just take your time and truly enjoy the moment.
3. Pack Snacks
When we travel, we don’t generally have the same access to regular meals or at least the same type of meals we are accustomed to at home. Packing a healthy snack when you are out and about is a great way to keep your body humming along. Healthy items like almonds, raw vegetables and dried fruit will give you a boost and keep you from over-indulging and getting caught in unhealthy food traps.
We all know the importance of drinking enough water. When we travel we tend to get dehydrated either by inadequate access to water or moisture-sucking re-circulated cabin air from a long flight. By drinking plenty of water, you flush your body of toxins and keep yourself hydrated. It will also help you eat a lot less.
5. There’s an App for That
With the abundance of easily downloaded apps available these days, there is almost no excuse for not squeezing in a short workout when we travel. For instance, 7 Minute Workout has a simple to do exercise program you can do, in, well, 7 minutes. Even a small hotel room can accommodate most work-outs. Pack a jump rope or some fitness bands. They take up virtually no room in your luggage and within a few minutes you have just added some life-giving fitness into your day.
6. On the Side
Don’t hesitate to ask for food to be prepared the way you prefer, without heavy cheeses and gravies. Order dressings and sauces on the side; ask for a half portion or share a meal with a co-traveller. This literally saves hundreds of calories by eating this way. You can also substitute healthier sides like vegetables or salad instead of potatoes or fries.
7. Warning: Drinks with Umbrellas
One of the biggest saboteurs of our diet when we travel is the over abundance of alcohol; it’s everywhere. Colorful little drinks with bright pink umbrellas calling our name from the happy hour menu. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, we just seem to rationalize those few extra drinks when we are away from home. Research has found our intake of libations is one of the biggest contributing factors to those extra pounds we find when we return from travel. With that being said, go ahead and have that drink. Add seltzer to your wine and make it a spritzer. And remember to add at least one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. That’s an easy way to cut your consumption in half. Also stay away from those rainbow colored sugary foo-foo drinks. They are beautifully tempting but loaded with empty calories.
Most of all remember that traveling doesn’t mean you have for-go your healthy lifestyle or lose any progress you have worked hard to achieve. The most important part is to not stress about it. Enjoy this much-anticipated time and relax. Regardless of your fitness level, these easy-to-follow guidelines can ensure you come back from your trip the same fit and healthy person you were when you left.