It’s difficult to eat a healthy diet while traveling because you are away from home. Strange schedules, restaurant food, and endless snack buffets can wreak havoc on your diet. I admit burgers and sandwiches are our staple diet while on travel. We can’t stick to a strict diet plan when we are on the move
Travel is stressful which affects your metabolism, and it can be even more difficult to keep to a healthy diet if you are traveling with companions who are going out to eat and drink every night. While it can be a challenge, it is possible to eat healthy even when you are traveling.
Ways to keep a healthy diet while traveling
1. Cut Down on Coffee
No matter what your normal coffee habits are at home, chances are you’ll have many more opportunities to grab a cup when you are traveling for work.
Between the coffee maker in your room, the hotel’s breakfast spread and the offerings at your event, it’s easy to have several cups of coffee before you realize it.
This, in turn, can make you jittery and hungry, further threatening your healthy eating goals. If you think through your schedule ahead of time you can make smarter decisions about when you’ll have your daily coffee.
If you can’t cut on coffee at least try to reduce the sweeteners, too much calorie intake can hamper your travel plans.
2. Make Good Choices at Restaurants
While traveling, you’ll mostly have all meals at restaurants or fast food joints. Restaurants make food with more flavors, more calories, more salt, more sweets, etc.
Nearly every restaurant has a “light” or “healthy” section of the menu. While you might not order from this section every time, it’s a good idea to make good choices when possible.
Restaurant food is loaded with fat, calories and salt, so choosing lighter options when you can help minimize the effect of multiple restaurant meals on your diet.
Ordering from the appetizer menu or asking for a half portion can also help you keep the calorie intake under control. Also, try to skip soda for water, especially while traveling.
3. Avoid the Snack Buffet
If you are traveling for a work event such as a conference or trade show, chances are you’ll be offered food throughout the day. Unfortunately, there usually aren’t many healthy options among the typical fare of doughnuts, cookies, and soda.
Many people find that simply being around lots of tempting food options manufactures feelings of hunger and weakens the resolve to stick to a diet.
Instead of hanging out at the snack table during breaks, take a quick walk around the building or join a conversation away from the food.
4. Don’t Forget Your Vitamins
Taking vitamins and supplements along on your trip can help you stick with your diet and also improve your mood and energy level.
You should bring along whatever normal supplements you take, and you may want to add a few extras as well.
Adding a little protein powder to your morning coffee can help you feel full and be less tempted to indulge in a mid-morning treat.
Remember to take powdered or capsule vitamins as liquids may not be allowed by flight regulations.
5. Eat Homemade When Possible
When you can, it’s always better to eat homemade food. You can pack snacks or a meal at home quite easily for the first day of travel. If you have a hotel room with a kitchenette you can cook simple meals during your trip.
Even if your room just has a refrigerator, you can stock up on healthy snacks such as veggies and fruit.
You can stop by a local store to get sandwich ingredients and it’s even easy to find healthy options in national grocery chains.
Another way to homemade food while traveling is to visit your friends and family at the destination. This is one of the added perks of a trip, you get to meet the people you usually meet through social media outlets.
Your past colleague, a relative, a school friend. Other than making connections you can enjoy a good healthy meal.
6. Don’t Stress Over Details
While it’s possible to make healthy choices when traveling, chances are you’ll end up eating fast food in the airport or grabbing a cookie from the hotel reception desk at least once in a while.
For minor setbacks like this, it’s best to just let it go without feeling guilty.
Obsessing over every single meal isn’t healthy and can just add stress to an already challenging situation. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy a treat now and then.
Sticking with a healthy diet while traveling isn’t easy but it’s worth the extra work.
Not only will you avoid potential weight gain, but a nutritious diet will also help you feel better physically and mentally throughout your trip. Limiting coffee and taking the right supplements lowers your risk of feeling poorly.
By doing a little planning ahead and making your meals or snacks when possible you can avoid over-indulging in restaurant food and unhealthy snacks.
When you do eat something unhealthy, it’s best to just write it off and go back to your health plan at the next meal. I found counting calories very stressful work. I’d rather measure my weight before and after travel.
Readers, how do you keep your diet plan going while you’re on the move?