You've worked all summer to get in shape the way you want, but how do you keep fall travel from messing up your diet plan?
Summer has come to a close, but many of us have a final trip to the beach or weekend away planned before the fall grind begins. Hard work has been done to get in shape for the warm months, and (hopefully) all that progress has been maintained through the summer. As most know, diet is a critical component of looking and feeling your best, and is where the greatest hurdle lies for maintaining top form year round. One such example of how diet can be a hurdle is trying to eat well while on the road. Those late summer and early fall trips are a lot of fun, but they’re also a great way to derail a healthy diet and set you back in your fitness goals. With the holiday season not too far off, now is a great time to stay on track whether you’re at home or getting in a beach trip. I give clients three tips to help them maintain their diets no matter where they go.
It’s safe to assume if you’re going somewhere for more than 24 hours you’ll be bringing some luggage along, so use that as an opportunity to bring some healthy food options as well. Foods that keep well at room temperature such as fruit, nuts, seeds, rice cakes, oats, canned foods like beans, and prepackaged foods like SunWarrior protein are all great options to throw into a travel bag so that you won’t be caught with no options besides junk food. You can also prepare some healthy, ready-to-eat snacks for while you’re on the road, such as smoothies (in a shaker bottle), hummus and wilted kale sandwiches on whole grain bread, or tofu lettuce wraps. Packing food will make sure you have ample healthy snacks, save you money, and ensure that you only indulge when you choose to rather than out of necessity.
Depending on where your trip will take you, there will likely be multiple restaurants and grocery stores in the vicinity of where you’ll be staying. Rather than winging it when you get there and hoping for the best, try getting online before you leave and making a list of the healthiest options for eating out and shopping. You may find that all the places within a block of your hotel have limited healthy choices, but that there’s a couple great options just a little farther away that you never would have found without doing a little research first. Once you’ve got a list of places where you can find healthy food, plan out your trip so that you know when you’ll be able to visit each so that when you get there you’ll be set for a stress free time.
What if there are no obvious options, or what if friends and/or family are excited about going somewhere that has little to no healthy fare? Calling ahead can be a great way to keep everyone happy without derailing your diet or leaving you stuck eating a dry salad. Call the restaurant a day ahead of when you plan to eat there and let the manager know that you’d like a healthy meal. 99% of time the staff will be happy to oblige and the chef will jump at the chance to be creative instead of sticking to the set menu. I’ve done this multiple times and have had some of the best restaurant meals of my life this way!
So as you can see, even the longest trip to the most isolated of locales still allows for plenty of opportunity to stick to healthy eating (and exercise!). A vacation is often used as an excuse for why healthy habits have failed and extra pounds have been gained, but this is definitely an option rather than an inevitability! Use these tips the next time you’re traveling, and enjoy staying in top form by dining with less stress and guilt while you’re away!