The holidays are the time when tons of people find themselves traveling to be with friends and family. Traveling can lead to a lot of changes in your routine, with healthy eating being an area to suffer the most.
During the holidays, I want you to remember that eating “healthy” shouldn’t fill you with anxiety. Don’t allow yourself to stress over it. You can treat yourself and still feel good about your choices as long as you don’t overdo it. In other words, it’s best not to finish the whole pumpkin pie (although I’ve done it more than once!)
In order to eat healthy while traveling, you need to be prepared before you go and cautious when you’re about to indulge. Here are a few ways to help you stick to eating healthy while traveling this holiday season.
Bring a reusable water bottle
You hear this constantly, but drinking water is incredibly important to your body. It will help keep your body working up to par, especially during the long flights and altering sleep schedules.
Also, if you’re dehydrated, you may translate the feeling as hungry which increases your chances of grabbing anything in sight. Packing a reusable water bottle will allow you to refill regularly without having to worry about stopping at the store to grab a drink.
Pack healthy snacks
Every time I travel, I pack protein bars and nuts. I’ve found that these are the snacks that keep me full and satisfied until I can get in a good meal. They’re also really easy to pack into any kind of bag. You can also pack easy fruits like bananas, apples, nectarines or even veggies!
If you have a long trip ahead of you or you know it takes your family hours to decide where to eat, be sure to pack healthy snacks. These will be a lifesaver in those moments where you feel your hunger burning up your stomach and your mind ready to order pizza.
Also, if you do have meal staples that can be brought with you, bring them! Some people may not understand why you brought a packet of oatmeal and protein powder to whip up protein oats, but if your mornings are fueled by this, find a way to bring them. You might even be inspiring family and friends with your healthy finds!
Order grilled, steamed or fresh menu options
When I went on a recent trip with my mom and dad, we stopped at a restaurant every night. Instead of opting for a burger or the flatbreads, I always aimed to order something grilled. I then would swap out fries for a side salad or veggies to make sure I was getting in my greens.
Although it was a bit of an added fee, I felt great after my meals. It’s become a standard for me to try to steer clear from fried foods and opt for something grilled or steamed because I feel so much better eating things that don’t wreak havoc on my body. These options are also most likely packed with healthy nutrients and better for you so you won’t be feeling sluggish afterward.
Remember your portions
I’m guilty of being really bad with portions. I will go back 4 times to fill up my plate and just tell myself it’s a healthy meal. However, it’s best to be conscious of your portions even when being served a meal out in a restaurant because oftentimes they give more than you need.
By taking a look at what’s on your plate before you chow down will help you portion control better and save yourself from a painful stomachache later on. You also might be leaving with leftovers so you can have a lunch saved for tomorrow.
The bottom line
It can be tough to stick to eat healthy while traveling, but it is possible! There are a ton of factors to be mindful of if you want to stay on track. By bringing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, packing healthy snacks, ordering better for you options off of menus, and remembering portions when out to eat or during the holiday buffets, you’ll be able to keep things more balanced.
Just remember that when you do eat the whole pumpkin pie, you don’t have to beat yourself up. You shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging. Your body carries you through each and every day – if you want to eat pie, you can. On the other hand, listen to your body and don’t overdo it to the point where you feel like a sloth and just want to be in a food coma for 22 hours after the meal. Been there, done that and the pain wasn’t worth the 4th plate of stuffing.
With all that, I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and have a happy holiday season!
How do you maintain a healthy eating plan while traveling?