Summer may be gone, but busy schedules, day trips and the occasional get away are still on the calendar.
Whether you have a vacation planned for this fall, or spontaneously stumble upon a weekend away from home, keeping your nutrition intact can be a challenge when you are on the go.
Nevertheless, breaking your routine and stepping into vacation mode is not an excuse to neglect your nutrition. This is not to say that you must totally stick to your at-home regimen or rob yourself of a good time. Like all things, vacation is all about balance. And when it comes to health and nutrition, the key is to find balance between the more savory moments (and dinners) and the nutrition goals you’ve worked hard to achieve.
So, next time you hit the road or hop on a plane, consider these 4 tips for maintaining your nutrition while traveling.
- Make Reasonable Goals
Nutrition is not black and white. In other words, eating mindfully and eating whatever you want are not the only options. You should strive for a happy medium while traveling — enjoying new cuisine, while also being mindful of how much and what kinds of foods you are eating.
To do this, you must adjust your nutrition goals reasonably. Make protein a priority, but don’t count it. Eat your greens, but don’t force yourself to go for the salad at every meal. And cater to your evening sweet tooth, knowing that a healthy breakfast is waiting for you in the morning.
- Snack Smart
When you are traveling, your snacking habits are due to shift.
You may crave a mid-day meal or find yourself battling a late night urge to munch.
Remember, there are many ways to snack smart. Fresh and dried fruit are a nutritious option for when the sweet tooth strikes. Nuts and seeds for when you are itching for something salty. And a quick and easy protein shake if you are looking to satisfy your appetite in a flavorful, yet nutritious way.
- Don’t Hesitate to Ask
When you’re on the go, eating out is a given.
With new restaurants to try, packed itineraries and potentially a herd of mouths to feed, eating in often feels like more work than it’s worth.
However, many people jump to associate dinner out with an inevitable cheat meal. This is simply not the case.
Of course, if the menu is calling you to indulge, go for it. It’s vacation after all. But, on the chance that your body would benefit from a healthier meal, don’t hesitate to ask for certain accommodations.
You can ask your server to sub out a side of fries for something more nutritious. Or maybe you’d prefer to have your protein cooked in oil over butter.
Whatever it may be, asking your server can’t hurt. Chances are they’ll be able to help you find an option that is on par with your health and nutrition goals.
- Don’t Forget to Hydrate
So often, people like to think that the only way one can travel in a healthy manner is to restrict what you eat and workout on a regular schedule.
Yes, both of these things are helpful. But, hydration is an important player, as well.
By drinking enough water while on the go, you are giving your body what it needs to function optimally. This will benefit your energy levels, allow you to have a better read on your appetite, and will help to keep your immune system in check as you explore a new scene.