Sticking to a healthy diet while travelling can be extremely challenging, with some scenarios being more difficult than others. As an occasional traveller who is paranoid about suddenly becoming unhealthy, I have mastered the art of not putting on too much poundage while away and even written a book about it, which you should get if you are a frequent traveller. It is called the Traveller’s Fitness Bible.
While it may be challenging, it does not mean that it is impossible. If you learn how to make smart choices while on the road, observing a healthy diet is really not that difficult. Let’s get one thing straight here –being on the road is probably not the best time in which to start a healthy diet. The challenges are infinitely greater.
But, on the other hand, if you are currently making healthy choices in your food selection already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel is not as difficult it first may seem. If you are traveling my airplane, a healthy diet will have to include airplane food. We all know that airline food has a terrible reputation, not just for its taste, but its nutrition as well.
That being said, all is not lost. You should aim to pick the least of the evils, so to speak. When you book your flight, ask about your food options. In particular ask if a vegetarian dish is available. Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they will be serving.
Oh, by the way, I am not saying that just because I’m a vegetarian. If you are a frequent traveller, you probably already know the differences, particularly if you have sat beside veggos before. Also, if you can, eat a larger meal before your flight so that you don’t have to eat the entire meal on the flight.
What about road trips? When driving, or even when being in a coach, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants and eat there. After all, it’s the most convenient, isn’t it? Well, think again. Avoid doing this whenever possible! If you think about the reasons why you shouldn’t eat out too often when at home, it doesn’t really differ much when you’re on the road.
If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast food more than once during a week can really be bad for your health. If you must, choose the healthiest options available, like chicken breasts and diet soda. Also, remember that you can take your own food when travelling. This is something people often forget.
Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean meat and low-fat cheese in a cooler or esky is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Most of the time, home-made meals will save you money, unless you insist on the swanky hipster organic-type foods.
Of course it goes without saying that when on holiday, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these dieting options directly in the menu for health-conscious people. Of course, you will have to work around the language barrier yourself.
Lastly, control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in have and getting a doggie bag if you can. If your hotel has a fridge, this is definitely do-able. A word of warning though – some cities have strict hygiene guidelines and forbid this.
Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. However, your health is worth the planning, not to mention the avoidance of illnesses. And as I mentioned at the start of the article, I wrote the Traveller’s Fitness Bible some years back to help people keep fit while on holiday. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy today.
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