The key to success at ANY TIME is to plan ahead and be prepared. That doesn’t change when you’re heading out on vacation or to a party. In fact, it’s even more important to plan healthy eating on the road. Here are some tips that we use to keep on track… well, at least 80% of the time!
Pack snacks that make sense: I’m not talking about 100 calorie snack packs of crap here. Just because they’re “only 100 calories” doesn’t mean they’re good for you.
Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast. Pre-portion out 1/2 cup oatmeal with a little bit of raisins, some cinnamon, and add a little flaxseed or chopped nuts for a protein punch. Put this heavenly mixture into a snack bag and it’s a perfect portable for breakfast or a mid-day snack. Any place you stop along the way will have hot water and a coffee cup to do your mixing and eating.
Nuts and fruit go hand in hand. Measure out a small handful of unsalted almonds, cashews, or peanuts into snack baggies and keep some fruit on hand to pair it with. Apples, oranges, or bananas work well. Mixing the protein and healthy fat from the nuts with the carbs from the fruit will give you energy that lasts.
String cheese and fruit is another great combo if you’re not into the nut scene. But note, I only mention string cheese here. It’s lower in sodium and in fat than it’s hard cheese counterparts which makes it a healthier option to choose from. Don’t like string cheese? What about Greek yogurt? Pair some of that with some fruit and a smidge of cinnamon and a sprinkling of stevia and you have another wonder snack on your hands.
Pack & drink plenty of water. I know, this may mean a couple extra pit stops along the way, but staying hydrated will help you feel fuller longer, you won’t mistake the thirst you’re actually feeling for hunger signals, and it will keep you energized for the trip. (who can sleep when you have to pee??? just kidding… not really)
Stay committed to your exercise plan. No EXCUSES! There is really no reason for you not to workout to the programs you’ve committed to. With streaming access through any WiFi enabled device and your BOD account, you can take your workouts on the go. Even if you’re doing a strength training based workout, bring that resistance band with you instead of lugging around heavy weights. Believe me, those bands work!
Skimp on the alcohol. I’m not saying NEVER have it, but limit yourself and select alcoholic beverages that are low in sugar and empty calories. Alcohol is also a diuretic (which means it makes you pee!) so be sure that for every alcoholic beverage you drink, you’re adding another full glass of water as your chaser.
Ask for what you want. It’s no secret that restaurants add salt and saturated fats to their foods to make them taste good. But those fats add way too many extra calories which means you’re more likely to pack on the pounds while you’re away. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions – steam your veggies instead of sautéing them. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side so that you can control how much goes on your food. Stick with baked, grilled, or broiled main dishes. Ask for more veggies and less starchy stuff – like skipping the bread basket or loading up on pasta.
What about special events??? The same 5 items listed above pertain to these fun gatherings too, but here are some other tips to keep you sane and in control while still partying it up with friends and family:
Eat before you go – fill up on healthy stuff so that you’re less likely to be tempted once you get there.
Got your eye on a sweet surprise? Then choose just ONE happy ending and make the portion match your goals. Savoring every single bite will make that smaller portion seem like it’s much bigger and is lasting much longer. It also gives your tastebuds time to register with your brain and stomach to say when enough is enough.
Select from healthier fare first – go ahead and fill your plate up with the healthier stuff first. If you’re still hungry and want to dabble with the other stuff after that, go ahead… but again, keep those portions in check.
Be social – the whole point behind going to these types of events isn’t to get sucked in by the buffet table; it’s to spend time with friends and family and socialize. So go ahead, be that social butterfly you always wanted to be. Spend time catching up with the people in your life and you’ll end the night realizing it wasn’t all about the food.Nobody will notice what you are/aren’t eating – when you’ve been busy flitting about the room talking with one person after another, no one is going to be paying attention to what you did or didn’t eat. Even if they did, you have to decide what’s more important – the dessert table or that smokin’ hot body you’ve been working so hard towards.
Eating healthy on the road won’t be easy but you’ll feel so GREAT knowing you were able to stick to your goals at least 80% of the time!