Contributed by: Laurel Dierking, M.Ed., NFPT, 200YT
One of the most challenging times to keep up with good nutrition is when traveling. Whether it is for a short trip or an extended stay, you are oftentimes at the mercy of the local eateries or hotel continental offerings when traveling. Although this can be a challenging time to maintain your course of healthy eating, there are some fool-proof methods of keeping yourself on track with your healthy eating plan!
The number one thing you must do is prepare, prepare, and prepare. Mentally, set a goal for yourself to only eat out for one meal, if possible. Lunch options at restaurants are typically lighter and more appropriately portioned than dinner meals. If you must eat out, try and choose lunch time as your ‘eat-out’ meal. If you order a larger lunch (or dinner), save half of it for your meal for later!
When preparing for a get-away, planning is crucial. Depending on the length of time that you will be gone, consider the option of making a stop at a local grocery store to stock up on healthy, travel-friendly snacks to keep on hand throughout your days. If you have the luxury of staying somewhere with a kitchenette, decide and commit to cooking one meal a day! To plan even further ahead, double your portion during your cooking session and set aside the second portion for a meal the following day!
Taking pre-cooked meals with you for the first day or two in a small cooler or container is also a doable option to help you not lose focus early in your stay away from home. Most hotels have a refrigerator in the room, so storage would be relatively simple.
Healthy options are possible when you are away, but it does take a commitment and a hint of discipline to choose the best options for you. It may not be as easy as being at home, but commit to giving your body the best available food options and commit to the extra effort of keeping your body healthy. You are guaranteed to feel better when you return home and feel proud of yourself for being mindful with your nutrition!