Don't let traveling derail your diet
How to eat healthily — and avoid gaining weight — on trips.
August marks one of the busiest summer months and an opportunity to get out of our regular routine. It's a time to take that weekend road trip or long-awaited extended vacation. But your liberation also means a rise in family barbecues, decadent dinners and airport fast food — all of which can spell trouble for your waistline. Want to enjoy your well-deserved sojourn (even the food) without the guilt or extra pounds? Here are five strategies for success.
There's one simple secret that any healthy eater knows: preparation is essential. Borrow a tip from the pros and pack travel snacks that will keep you sated and content. Avoid prepackaged granolas and snack packs at airport convenient stores. They're often loaded with sugar and additional additives.
"Aim for snacks that are not just carbohydrates, rather those that include some protein and healthy fat," says Livestrong.com nutrition adviser Alyse Levine.
"This macro-nutrient combination will help prevent drastic swings in your blood sugar level and help keep you satiated. Great on-the-go snack options include, Greek nonfat yogurt (which is higher in protein than regular yogurt), string cheese and a fruit, nut butter on whole grain crackers, individual hummus and pretzel packs, unsalted nuts and trail mix."
Walk it off
If you're on a trip with sightseeing, plan to walk a portion of your excursion. Walking is an effective strategy for long-term weight loss, Alzheimer's prevention and bolstered cardiovascular health. This low-impact fitness option is a great way for you to log your exercise without sacrificing enjoyable time outdoors.
Indulge — in control
Traveling offers a wide array of unbelievable dining options that you should enjoy. Free yourself from feeling restricted while eating out by approaching your meal with a "smaller samples" mentality. Levine advises her clients to eat a small, sensible portion of what they really want first. She notes that the "save the best for last" mentality can lead to overeating because it adds that most desired treat on top of everything else.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water reigns supreme when it comes to appetite control and keeping you energized. It's particularly important to stay hydrated during vacation as air travel and increased activity can lead to dehydration. Select a BPA-free water bottle to take on your trip and opt to intake at least 13 cups of water daily if you are male or 9 cups of water daily if you are female. Sip wisely
Choosing calorie-conscious cocktails when you're celebrating is a great way to avoid excess weight gain from your trip. Steer clear of specialty cocktails, which are often loaded with sugar and harder to regulate in terms of alcohol consumption. Red wine or traditional spirits mixed with soda water are great options.