Whether taking a vacation or while on a business trip, traveling can be a tiring process. After several hours in the car or plane, the last thing you want to do is worry about putting together a proper meal.In other words, a combination of hunger, boredom, and convenience brings you to the fast food counter or the potato chip aisle, and suddenly you are downing hundreds of empty calories.
But eating while traveling does not necessarily have to be an unhealthy, diet-busting experience. Through proper planning and adherence to a set of simple rules, unhealthy eating while traveling can become a thing of the past.
Plan Your Meals The Right Way to Eat Healthy While Traveling
The first thing to observe and make sure you eat healthy while traveling is proper planning.
You know at some point that hunger will strike, especially on long trips. Consider all the meals you will need during the trip, and try to visualize where and when they might occur. If your travel time is one or two days, this planning can translate into packed foods.
When you know where your food is coming from and how it is made, you can guarantee the adequate level of nutrients, calories, etc. If you are planning a multi-day trip, start looking into where you will buy food beforehand. Several websites provide honest reviews from local customers about restaurants, and a quick look at the menu will help you decide where you can eat.
Snack Smart to Avoid Over Eating Or Eating Too Fast
Snacking has acquired a distinctly negative connotation regarding healthy eating. This is generally because the snack foods we most commonly consume, such as potato chips and candy bars, are loaded with fat and sugar.
However, snacking is an entirely natural habit that, when managed correctly, is even more healthy than consuming the standard three meals a day. When small quantities of food are consumed consistently throughout the day, it keeps your metabolism continuously active and energy levels high.
Make sure the snacks you buy are filled with protein, nutrients, and complex carbohydrates, not calories.
Some great snack ideas include:
- Dried fruits (pure dried, no sugar added)
- Nuts (almonds, pistachios)
- Vegetables (sliced carrots, bell peppers)
- Lean meats (beef jerky, turkey breast)
- High-fiber cereals such as granola
Make sure also to have a complete breakfast of foods high in protein and fiber.
Avoid Temptation or Eating Just Because You Are Bored
Regardless of proper planning and healthy food options, unhealthy food options will always present a temptation. Try these exercises to avoid them:
- Prevent boredom. We often eat when bored, so keep your mind occupied with games, talking, reading, etc.
- Remove tempting items. Just do not allow yourself to buy potato chips, ice cream, and the like. If you don’t have access to it, you can’t eat it. Replace familiar, unhealthy snack foods with healthier options.
- Take amazing pictures of your healthy meals. You can take a quick picture with your cell phone, or if you’re a photographer, use your DSLR and take the most magnificent picture. You’ll be so proud of the picture, and that meal will look great, tricking your brain into thinking you’re satisfied.
- Erase rituals. Many of the unhealthy foods we eat are derived from habits that can only be erased or replaced. You don’t need candy at the movies or a mid-afternoon bag of chips. Try replacing these unhealthy options with some fruit or vegetables.