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Maybe you’re planning your next vacation, or perhaps your boss has you on the next flight out to headquarters. No matter your reason for traveling, eating healthy while doing so can be tricky if you don’t think ahead. Luckily, with a bit of planning and some willpower, you can enjoy your trip without jeopardizing your health or widening your waist.
Pack Healthy Snacks for the Actual Traveling
Whether you’ll be going by plane, train, or automobile, packing your own snacks is essential to avoiding unhealthy plane or train food, or worse, all of the convenience items you’ll find at every gas station along the way if you’re driving. For easy-to-grab snacks, stick to firm or dried fruits, but be sure to avoid dried fruit with added sugar. Nuts, vegetables, and protein bars are other good choices. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water to drink. If you’re driving and must have caffeine, look for low-calorie energy drinks or stick to black coffee.
Don’t Fall Under a Hotel Spell
Especially if you’re staying in a luxury hotel, decadent treats are likely to be plentiful and free. Start with the mini bar. If you know you’ll have one and you don’t want to be tempted, ask the hotel staff to empty it before you get there. If it’s an option, request a microwave and miniature refrigerator so you can easily prepare small meals in your room. You can make eggs, vegetables, and even a variety of meats in a microwave.
If you are the one responsible for booking your trip, look for a hotel that is close to a full-size grocery store. Doing so will make it easier for you to keep healthy options in your room.
Be Careful While You’re Out and About
It doesn’t matter if you’re spending your days as a tourist or having long meetings and even longer dinners with business partners—temptation will be everywhere. Luckily, there are ways to fight it. If you know where you’ll be eating ahead of time, look to see if their menu is online and do some calculations to help you decide which options are the healthiest. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or other special requirements for your meal. Most restaurants are happy to put the dressing on the side or to provide lettuce leaves instead of traditional buns.
Try to make lunch your biggest meal if you’re traveling for pleasure. Not only will you get more food for your money, but if you end up indulging a little, you’ll have the ability to walk it off for the rest of the day. Avoid alcohol, which is full of calories. If you absolutely must have a drink, stick to vodka and soda water for the healthiest option.
Bring Your Own Dessert
Desserts are often one of the biggest temptations when traveling. Try bringing your own to have at the hotel and help you avoid temptation. Gelatin cups are low in calories and will remain fresh even without a refrigerator. For something even sweeter, bake cookies. Hampton Creek sells a variety of healthy, organic cookie doughs. They do not contain dairy products, so you can either bake the dough or bring it along to eat right out of the jar.
Above all else, be sure to enjoy yourself on your trip, especially if you’re taking it specifically for leisure. Eating healthy is a great goal, but don’t get down on yourself if you do indulge some. Simply get back on track during your next meal.
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