Putting in the effort to make healthy food choices can get hard enough as it is when you are at home, but when you are travelling abroad? Any commitment you had to stick to your healthy eating plans tends to fly out the window. With the wafting smells of mouthwatering food everywhere and the tiredness that hits you mid-trip making you want to just stuff your face with loads of carbs and sugar, it is totally understandable for you to fall behind on the healthy eating train. And before you know it, you are heading home at the end of your trip with a suitcase full of souvenirs as well as a few extra calories.
Travelling Your Way to Healthy Eating
You might think that trying to eat healthier while travelling is a lost cause — who can resist all the good food? — but we are here to assure you that it is completely possible. Even if you have no desire whatsoever to be a health-conscious traveller, making healthy food choices while on a trip is always a good idea as you will leave your body and mind in tip-top shape throughout your travels.
So, the next time you are going on a trip, take note of the following tips you can use to help you stay on the healthy eating path.
Keep Snacks Handy
Pack enough snacks that will last you throughout your trip so you will have something handy to munch on when you are feeling peckish. And by snacks, we mean healthy snacks, not junk food like chips or sugar-loaded energy bars. Bring a small pack of nuts or choose energy bars that are sugar-free (or better yet, make your own!). Having a stash of snacks with you while travelling will prevent you from buying unhealthy snacks when your cravings hit. It will also stop you from feeling too hungry that you end up eating way more than you should by the time your next meal comes.
Hit the Grocery Store
If you do not feel like packing a bunch of snacks, try to visit your destination’s grocery store (if there is one nearby). Do this as soon as you get settled in so you can stock up on healthy food such as fruits and granolas. If the place you are staying at has a mini-fridge, you can even buy ingredients and store them in the fridge so you can prepare your own meals. For instance, you can buy oatmeal, a carton of milk and a few different types of fruits to make an overnight oatmeal for breakfast. This way, you can skip a few mornings of breakfast buffets (where overeating is the norm) and prepare a much healthier meal for yourself.
Limit Your Indulgence
How can you not treat yourself to plates after plates of pasta when in Italy, or savour the delicious street food in Thailand, or indulge in authentic sushi in Japan? Well, you absolutely can! We are not asking you to deprive yourself of indulging in the local cuisine. The key is to know your limits and not go overboard. If you have had pasta for lunch, opt for a healthier dish for dinner. If you gave yourself one sweet treat on one day, do without it the next. Remember, healthy eating is not about depriving yourself of enjoying food, it is all about balance and moderation.
Know What to Indulge On
If you are going to allow yourself a treat, make it something truly worthwhile. You don’t go to Italy just to binge on McDonald’s, right? If you are going to indulge, choose a local delicacy that is popular in your destination or something you know you would not have the opportunity to enjoy back home. Do not waste your indulgence on the empty calories of potato chips or fast food. You will just be doing both you and your tummy a disservice.
Skip the Drinks
Sweetened beverages are also easy ways for you to put on the calories without providing you with any health benefits. When you are out for a meal, avoid ordering a drink and opt for plain water instead. In addition, bring along a water bottle with you while travelling so you will always have water on hand to keep your thirst in check. Plus, you will be doing your part for the environment, which is always a plus.
Load Up on Vegetables
Dining out will usually leave you with a bigger-than-average plate of carbs and protein, accompanied with a teeny tiny portion of vegetables, if there are any at all. Whenever you are eating out, try to include a sizeable serving of vegetables in your meals. If your meal comes with carb-filled sides — like steak and chips for example — choose to substitute the sides with a healthier option such as roasted vegetables. Simple healthy hacks like this will allow you to enjoy well-balanced meals throughout your trip.