As a woman that is constantly on the go, especially during the summer months, I have to be very careful, and strategic, to make sure I do not un-do all the progress I have made with my weight loss goals. Just within the last few months, I have traveled to New York City multiple times, Maldives, Texas, Panama (an all-inclusive resort) and a European tour in the month of July. Couple that with working full time, teaching and developing public health courses and running my health coaching business. Talk about BUSY! There are a few tips that I stick to, to stay healthy and focused while traveling and on vacation. There are only 2 things you really need- a plan and consistency!
When traveling…10 rules to follow
When I’m traveling, I’m obviously not meal prepping, but I am still getting prepared. I am a research scientist by profession, so I research EVERYTHING. This includes the food options at the airport, on the flight, at the hotel and surrounding areas. This just makes me aware of the options I have, what to be prepared for and how many snacks I need to bring with me. There are a few things I always do:
- Eat before I get to the airport. Airport options are not always the best, so if I eat before, I am less likely to make a bad food purchase because I’m hungry.
- Choose the flight food options wisely. These are usually packed with salt and carbs, but some airlines have salad, gluten free and vegan options available also.
- PACK snacks. Typically, I ALWAYS have snacks with me every day, but when traveling I pack extra portable snacks. These includes apples, carrots, cucumber slices, bananas, low sugar fruit cups or apple sauce, granola bars, travel size peanut butter or hummus packs, a shaker cup and Shakeology ®. These snacks are also very helpful when you reach your destination, at the hotel, on a tour bus and even at the beach!
- Drink LOTS of water. You need to stay hydrated, but also water can help flush out toxins from the salty and sugary foods/snacks you may have consumed while on vacation. Water also makes you feel full longer so you eat less.
- Drink tea. There are so many great benefits of drinking tea daily. Tea has antioxidants, helps boosts your immune system, and aids in digestion. On vacation it can also help you feel full longer so you eat less.
- Be mindful of hotel and restaurant food. Again, hotel food and food at restaurants tend to have more salt and sugar than what you would cook at home. Be mindful of portion sizes, dressings and sauces (ask for these on the side) and try to choose healthier or lighter options when you can. Also, beware of buffets and try to “resist the urge to splurge.” It is okay to splurge a little, but don’t overdo it! Since you’re on vacation you may not work out as much as you are used to- so you most likely won’t burn those calories off.
- Schedule a workout! Try to include some time in your schedule for a workout, even a short one. Try out the hotel gym, go for a jog, take laps in the pool, rent a bike and go for a ride, or follow a Beachbody ® workout program on your tablet or phone. Anything that gets your heat rate up is better than nothing. If you’re traveling with a group, workout together!! On our recent King Dunston Group Getaway to Panama, I led an awesome beach boot camp and we all burned a lot of calories!
- Try to engage in some sort of physical activity. If you’re vacationing in a city, walk around and tour the city and sights- if you’re on a beach vacation, make an effort to go on a tour of the place you are visiting and walk around, or take walk along the beach.
- Be mindful of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol itself is not high in calories (although the calories do not have any nutritional value) but the additives that are mixed with alcohol have A LOT of calories (juice, soda, syrup, sugar, etc.). Stick to low calorie drinks worth minimal ingredients (wine, beer, tonic, club soda, etc.). These are typically between 75 and 150 calories. Some daiquiris can be up to 500 calories! Yikes!
- Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up! You’re on vacation after all and you should enjoy yourself!
Remember, it is all about balance! Do I splurge sometimes? Eat cake? Dessert? Drink a daiquiri? Absolutely! I’m human! I just try not to overdo it and I always get right back on track. Consistency and a plan are key! If you follow these guidelines, this will help assure you do not pack on the pounds during while traveling.