Summer is often the time when we go on vacation or travel for work to a business conference.
It can be a struggle to eat right when we travel.
In fact, research has been done on this specific problem. They found a strong correlation between the frequency of business travel and various health risks, especially among professionals who traveled more than 14 days a month.
From higher BMIs and increased depression to lack of adequate physical activity, business travelers face real barriers when it comes to sustaining healthy habits on the road.
At the top of the list of challenges for the business traveler is dining out. Travel nutrition can include highway rest stops, dining out with multiple course meals, cocktails, fast food, or even skipping meals altogether. This goes for vacationers too.
If you find yourself turning to gas station menus, fast food, or hotel vending machines, it can seem like a lost cause and you end up reversing all of your progress.
However, you can stay healthy while traveling with some preparedness and planning.
Check out these tips for travel dining success:
- Make protein your focus. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you from being hungry and making unhealthy choices later in the day. Whether that means making breakfast at home before hitting the road or enjoying a hotel breakfast buffet, be sure to make healthy, hunger-fighting protein the staple of your meals, especially to start. A breakfast of eggs, fresh fruit and whole-grain toast with a little butter, or whole-grain cereal provides a well-rounded, nutritious start to your day.
- Pack snacks. Snacks have come a long way. You can ditch the bag of greasy, salty chips for healthy, delicious and filling snacks that aren’t loaded with empty calories. Today’s snack options include low-fat, low-sodium options that provide sustained energy between meals. Plan ahead and pack nuts, granola bars, fresh fruit, low-fat cheese sticks or veggie and hummus packs, and I love some smooth, tasty yogurt, especially Greek yogurt. Look for combo cups with real fruit.
- Don’t fear fast food. You can’t avoid fast food or convenience restaurants on the road. Believe me, I’ve tried. When faced with that as your only option, don’t fear the menu. Instead, break it down by entree/sandwich, side, and drink and make the best choices in each category. Choose grilled over fried, salad over fries, water over soda, and steer clear of value meals that are oversized.
You can enjoy your vacation, work trips, and stay healthy too! Relax and don’t stress! As far as activity goes sightseeing and walk while you sightsee. You can also do a quick 10-15 minute bodyweight workout in your hotel room!