You may be great about eating healthy when you’re home and in a routine, but it’s much harder to stick to a diet and fitness regime while on the go. Here’s how to set yourself up for success while travelling.
- Before you leave, decide that your trip is not going to be all about food. It’s about seeing new places, experiencing new things and meeting new people.
- Don’t be shy about telling your travelling partners or new friends you’re on a diet. They won’t care about your eating habits and will most likely want to help you stick to it, if you explain what’s required.
- Arm yourself with healthy snacks like fruit, protein bars and small bags of nuts or dried fruit. Airports are notoriously hard places to find healthy meals and during a long commute or layover, you don’t want to end up binging on junk food because it’s the only thing available.
- Take your vitamins and supplements along on your trip – they can help you stick with your diet and also improve your mood and energy levels.
- Stick to your normal eating schedule. Don’t sleep in and skip breakfast, or you’ll just overeat at lunch. Maintaining your usual schedule will keep you satisfied while a small, healthy snack every three to four hours will keep your metabolism going all day.
- Plan in advance. Think about where you'll be eating meals and if possible, look up online menus for healthy choices. This can prevent you from ordering something on the spur of the moment because you’re hungry.
- To compensate for eating out more, increase your physical activity. One of the best ways to see a city is to walk or run through its neighborhoods; it often leads to unexpected discoveries. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can work out in your room by packing a skipping rope for cardio and a yoga mat / resistance band for strength training; you can also use an exercise DVD or podcast. If you plan an intense weight training workout just before an indulgent meal, the food you eat will be used to repair muscle instead of being stored as fat.
- When ordering at a restaurant, focus on what your body needs and not what just sounds good. Order a salad instead of fries, and load up on vegetables wherever possible. Stay away from fried food and ask for heavy sauces and dressings on the side.
- Stay hydrated – you feel hungrier when you’re thirsty. Stick to water as much as possible, but if you must have an alcoholic beverage, try light beer or vodka/rum/gin mixed with club soda or a diet drink, as mixers can add hundreds of calories very quickly.
- Observe one cheat day. It’s better to watch what you eat six days a week, than make bad food choices every day.