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Your diet travel guide
I’m often traveling and it is a question that comes up a lot.
Q: How to stay on track while traveling?
I want to start off with saying, where there is a will there is a way. Depending on your travel plans here is a few tips based on vacation or travel types.
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Road Trips visiting family and friends
The great thing about this kind of vacation is that where you are headed will probably have a kitchen. The down side is that you will probably have to eat what they make for you at one point or another out of respect. What I have done over the years is let them know that I am on a meal plan. You can word this anyway you think they would understand best. This sometimes can cause stress but if you assure them that you will be doing things a little differently for your breakfast and lunch and that you don’t want to worry them, perhaps you can work things out without offending.
If you aren’t bringing your own prepared breakfast and lunch, make a trip to the grocery store before you arrive. If you are flying in, ask to stop along your way to their house. You can offer to cook supper for them one night, it’s a nice gesture and usually people will be interested and be ok with it. Not all families work like this but sometimes you just have to insist…nicely of course. Many people will actually appreciate it because it takes the pressure off of them to entertain you every single day you spend with them. Depending on your visit and the activities you are planning while you are with your friends and/or family, usually you can at least eat healthy during the day and lower your calorie intake during your breakfast and lunch meals, saving your bigger meals for supper. Talking things over before you arrive will also prevent a lot of surprises, questions and confusion.
Hit the grocery store and get fresh fruit and veggies. Be sure to include your protein source whether it’s eggs, chicken breast or maybe you can make turkey balls ahead of time that will last all week. (recipe here) Grab some nuts and fruit as well. This will be a time you will be eating simple. I suggest you buy enough to share a little. It looks less snobbish.
It’s also a good idea to keep a mental image in your mind of what your day and meals will look like. It’s not cool to have your calculator out to check your hosts’ meal caloric count. If in doubt, eat smaller portions.
Some cooks get really worried if you don’t eat a ton of food that they have prepared for you. Try eating more veggies and less carbs like potatoes and bread. Be careful of sauces and dressings. They tend to be pretty high in sugars and other not-so-healthy ingredients. If you don’t make a big deal, usually others will not be paying much attention to what you are doing. Relax, have fun and talk about their interests. Take the notice off of yourself and enjoy your time with those you love. I guarantee you will have a great time.
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Road trips with hotels
My first piece of advice for you here is always book a room with a kitchenette in it. This is what I always do. I go and grab groceries and cook.
If you much prefer eating out, Google restaurants in the area and check their menu online. Make sure they have healthy options. Many restaurants are much more health conscious these days. I know for many of us this can be difficult because we will probably still get over served or we will eat more than we would because the food is just too good to only eat half of our plate. I do find that eating out too many days in a row will definitely show on my physique. You should plan a few lighter meals in between your bigger eating out meals.
If you have a problem with portion control ask them how big the servings are and if they are large, either share them or ask them to box it up right away rather than having them serve it to you and you having to control how much you eat. Know your weaknesses.
Long plane rides
You will definitely want to have water on hand. Grab some nuts and pre-cut veggies. Fruit may be a problem crossing any boarder but you can buy small bags of veggies and healthy snacks in many airports after you’ve passed the security check. I don’t recommend airplane food. You never know what’s in them.
All Inclusive Vacations
This can be the most difficult and tempting of vacations. It really depends on where you are going. The food can vary from location to location. Usually there will be a ton of great fresh fruit and salad options. The biggest problem I find on these trips are that there is so much temptation. The buffets can really take hold of you as well as the free alcoholic drinks. It is very easy to over indulge. You must go with a game plan. These vacations are best taken after you have seen your portion sizes and have practiced self-control at other events. This may not be a problem for everyone but I know when I first got started on my fitness journey if I had been dieting too hard in the beginning I had a hard time controlling myself when it came to vacation time. I often gained 10lbs each vacation.
The key is to not spend too much time around the food. Plan your days out and have activities that will burn calories and keep you occupied. Take time to relax and sleep more than you usually would. Make sure you drink a ton of water especially if you are in a hot and humid climate. Plan your treat days and enjoy them but don’t do it at every meal.
There are vacation packages that allow you to cook in your room in kitchenette suites and condo vacations of course can be enjoyed with a full kitchen and grocery stores nearby. As I said, preplanning according to your diet will really help you to think before you sign up.