Whether you're looking for rest and relaxation or an adventure, or you're out (way out) of the office, travelling takes you away from your fridge, kitchen and favourite places to grab something healthy.
Let's try to put a stop to that. Follow these tips and you'll have a better chance of getting home without a little extra around your middle.
- Be water smart. You can work up a thirst walking around the airport, a new city or stuck indoors at a convention or seminar. Don't let that happen. Have a water bottle with you at all times and take regular sips to satisfy your thirst. If you're in a foreign country and are concerned about water-borne illnesses, buy commercially bottled water that's in a sealed container. If unavailable, ensure the water is purified.
- Eat regularly. It's easy for time to slip away when you're having fun, on a long flight or distracted with business obligations. Try to eat every 4-5 hours (with snacks in between) to help keep you energized.
- Have snacks with you. When you arrive at your destination, do a bit of shopping for snacks that can tuck into your backpack, beach bag, carry-all or brief case. Good options are fresh fruit, cut-up veggies, dried fruits, nuts and lower fat granola bars and cereals. Don't buy too much at once though; it may go bad in your hotel room. Also ask the front desk; some hotels offer to pack snacks or lunch-to-go for their guests (for a price).
- Soothe your rumbling tummy. Dinnertime and you've just realized you haven't eaten a meal all day? Rather than trust your empty stomach, enjoy a snack (like veggies, yogourt or fruit) before going to a restaurant or ordering room service. You'll be less likely to overeat that way.
- Avoid a super-sized splurge. Just like at home, some restaurants serve huge portions. Ask your server if an entree is enough for two people (and split it with someone if it does), ask for half an order or opt for an appetizer instead. And unless you have a mini-fridge where you're staying, pass on the doggie bag.
- Trust your food instincts. Eating like a local can be yummy, but not if you're worried about food that could make you sick. If that's the case, avoid foods from street vendors, and eat food that's been well cooked and served hot. And opt for fruits and veggies that can be peeled.
- Wake up to fancy coffee drinks. Waiting for a connecting flight or showing up at a trade show with a coffee in your hand is normal. But those large fancy coffees made with syrups can pack more than 500 calories! (Think of them as dessert in a cup.) Instead, order a regular or decaf coffee, cappuccino or latte made with lower-fat milk.
- Go easy on alcohol. Of course, you're expected to cut loose on vacation but go easy on alcohol. That's because it can increase your appetite, make it way too easy to overeat and, gram for gram, an alcoholic beverage has about as many calories as fat. Look at it this way: Those healthy gains (or losses) you made before vacation can be undone with a few too many drinks, too often.
- Smart machine munchies. Whether you're at the airport, bus terminal, train station, convention centre or business complex, there's bound to be a vending machine. When the munchies hit and you don't have any snacks with you, think before inserting your money: Nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetable juice, sandwiches or wraps on whole wheat bread or buns, with ketchup, relish, mustard or salsa rather than creamy sauces are good options.