Sticking to a healthy diet can sometimes be a challenge, especially with the festive season tempting you with an array of appealing, calorie-rich delicacies. If you think turning a blind eye to this is difficult, imagine sticking to eating healthy while travelling. Your options suddenly shrink, and buffets don’t usually overflow with many healthy foods. For some, giving up on a sensible diet seems like the path of least resistance. But a trip away, whether for work or leisure, does not mean you have to come home with a junk food hangover. The constant rush of activities (especially on leisure trips) might tempt you into rushing to the nearest fast-food joint every time hunger pangs come a-calling. But with a few handy choices at the ready, sticking to healthy eating habits may not be as difficult as it seems. Here are some tips to help you stick with your diet, even when you’re away from home.
- Be prepared- If you have a road trip planned, it’s easier to pack your snacks for while you’re en route. You’d be surprised how often you want to dig into a snack while on the move! Pack foods like popcorn, granola bars, or freshly-cut fruit (easier to bite into if you are behind the wheel).
- Keep it light- Instead of stopping at a restaurant for a heavy meal, pack a couple of sandwiches and a side salad as a healthier (and more hygienic) option. Try and stick to whole-grain breads. You might also want to give the mayo a skip.
- Be choosy- Packing your own meal while travelling by air may not be a good idea, but most airlines provide a choice of meals. While booking your tickets, don’t forget to select a healthy meal option, too.
- Drink up- It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re travelling, but stick to water and fresh juice instead of aerated or caffeinated beverages.
- Have it your way- The doughnut stand may entice you while you wait for your flight, but it’s best to move away in search of healthier options. Choose a deli-style counter that lets you customise your own meal with lean meats, whole-grain breads and fresh veggies.
- Finishing touches- If you can end your meal with some fresh fruit. The doughnuts may still be calling; but remember, you have the bathroom scales to face back home!
- Think small- Fast food joints can be a real comfort factor in an unfamiliar city - or so they seem. If getting a taste of the local cuisine isn’t for you, go for small portions. These won’t bring about feelings of guilt, and you’ll still have some new gourmet experiences to take home.
- Bring your own- Stock up your hotel mini-bar with fresh fruit and healthy snacks. In the middle of the night, when you feel like having a nibble, you can pick up a peach instead of ordering a greasy tuna melt from the room service menu.
- Get a good start- Even if you have an early start in the morning, don’t skip breakfast. Choose some high-fibre and high-protein foods to keep you going until lunch.
- Be careful with calories- Instead of snacking on foods like chips, nuts or candy, carry a granola bar and an apple during the day. Sip on coffee, tea or water instead of a Coke or a Red Bull. This will keep away unwanted calories.
- Sip it slowly- If the occasion calls for an alcoholic beverage, stick to a glass of wine instead of a cocktail. Take small sips and allow it to last you throughout the meal.
- Fill up smartly- To fill up and stay full, you might want to opt for a second helping of soup or ask for a side salad with your meal. Skip the dessert counter; restaurants love to offer a tempting array of treats at these.
Hectic schedules, long journeys, and irregular departure times barely give you enough time for some shut-eye. In all this, looking out for healthy food choices may get sidelined. Spend a few minutes before you travel to plan your diet for the trip. Fuel your body to keep you charged on the go… the healthy way!