10 Tips to holiday travel without weight gain
Unless your family lives close by, there's a good chance you'll be traveling over the holidays. You probably know that travel can destroy your healthy eating plans. And if you're not careful you can arrive home carrying a few extra pounds. It's too easy to justify your lapses by saying, "Oh well, I am on vacation!" Plus, it's often hard to find healthy foods while you're traveling.
Today's post is dedicated to tricks to eating healthy even when you're on the road.
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Pack your own snacks. No matter whether you're traveling by car or plane you're going to need to do this. The food at airports is not only fattening but also very expensive. So if you don't have something like nuts or a piece of fruit to snack on you'll probably crack. Heaven forbid you do that near a Cinnabon! So be prepared by having your own healthy snacks to fight those cravings.
Take a walk around the airport. Also, while you're waiting for your next flight, why not get your body moving with a brisk 20 minute walk? Then buy a magazine or a book to entertain yourself while you wait. A bottle of water or a coffee will often go a long way to fight cravings.
Don't forget to drink plenty of water. No matter how or where you're traveling, keep bottles of water handy. As soon as you get dehydrated you'll think you're hungry and feel tired. That's a recipe for diet disaster. You'll cave in to the nearest snack bar. So drink plenty of water!
If you're going to eat at a restaurant order grilled chicken and veggies. Fish is another good option (grilled, not fried, of course!). If you get a salad, ask them to leave the croutons off and ask for dressing on the side. Some chain restaurants now offer healthy (or healthier) options on their menu and list calorie and carbohydrate count. If you're traveling with someone, consider splitting a dinner. Portion sizes are often much too large for one person and you won't want to ask for a to-go box when you're traveling. So you'll just keep eating until you're stuffed if you're not careful.
Traveling by car is a little easier because you can pack an ice chest with fruit, veggies and sandwiches of lean meat on whole wheat bread.
Skip the elevator and go for the stairs. Also, bring along your swimsuit and spend some time in the hotel pool. But don't just float or sunbathe! Swim a few laps and get your heart pumping. This is a great low-impact exercise.
Pack your sneakers. When you have some extra time take a brisk walk around a local park or hiking trail. If nothing else, do a mall walk. A lot of hotels have exercise rooms now which is another good option. So toss in some clothes that are suitable for a good work-out.
Toss the free chocolate or cookies that the hotel gives you. You may need to smash them up or drown them with water first if you fear you might crack later and try to retrieve them. I know this is a hard one!
Track what you're eating with a mobile app. This will bring you back to reality when you think, "I haven't eaten that much today." Some of these apps will add up your calories and carbs for you. But remember, you need to be eating healthy calories. It's not just the amount that's important.
Decide your cheat meals ahead of time. If you're going to your mother's for Christmas day and you know she's been cooking for days, then you may want to give yourself a break and just enjoy your dinner. Fill your plate with veggies first and it won't leave much room for the carbs. Pick one dessert and savor every bite. Eating slowly will help you truly enjoy your food and your time with your family.
By following these simple tricks you can enjoy your travel, never feel starved, and avoid packing on those vacation pounds.
This post was originally published on December 12, 2013.