It’s that time of year again, Spring Break and Summer Vacations are coming and with that the planning of an exciting getaway! I love traveling to new places, exploring new sites, tasting new foods, and just getting off the daily hectic routine. When I think about travel many thoughts come to my mind…Travel is exciting, educating, enlightening, relaxing, exhausting, exotic, cultural, physical, mental, and appetizing tasting new foods!
If you are a frequent traveler, how do you keep up with your wellness goals during your trip, and is it even possible? Even if your not a frequent traveler, but like me try to infuse your healthy lifestyle wherever you go…please read on for tips and suggestions for enjoying your trip without totally overindulging!
Here are my top 5 Tips for Healthy Travel:
1. Plan Ahead:
Do your homework ahead of time on local restaurants and their menus. Think through how you will handle buffets, and desserts. Is there a gym at the hotel, or will you be biking, hiking, or golfing for extra activity? Pack snacks for the airport like fruit, raw carrots, celery, peppers, a whole grain sandwich, or yogurts instead of relying on airport and airplane food that may leave you feeling bloated or with indigestion before take off. Once you’re past security, buy enough water for your flight. Stay well hydrated on board because the air is very dry. Drink 8 oz. of water per hour of the flight.
2. Stay Active Daily:
There are usually many ways to stay active when you go away, remember to pack your sneakers so you are prepared. Strive for at least 30-60 minutes of activity daily when you are away, stay active to keep those extra pounds off! An hour of Walking burns 314 calories, Hiking 438 calories, Tennis (singles) 584 calories, and Golf (carrying clubs) 314 calories.
3. Make Best Available Food Decisions:
Always remember... that there are Healthy Choices Available it’s just a matter of Choosing Them. Even fast food establishments have healthier choices like grilled chicken, salad, or yogurt to name a few. Ask for sauces, dressings, and gravies on the side, where most of the calories hide. Choose between desserts or a cocktail, both are calorie dense and include added sugars. A Pina Colada is approximately 645 calories, and a Margarita comes in at around 740 calories similar to a typical dessert. Try to alternate 1 night a special cocktail, and 1 night a dessert. Fresh fruit can also be a refreshing way to end the evening!
4. Be Mindful & Savor the Time:
Vacation is the perfect time to slow down and savor the time. Tune into your body’s hunger/fullness cues for when to eat. Many resorts offer food all day, and this can lead to overindulgence. Try to eat when you are hungry; eat nice and slow, and stop when you are full. Many buffets have different size plates; try using a smaller plate for better control! Drink water in between bites to help fill you up.
5. Let Your Hand Guide You:
Your Hand is a great tool for portion control. Think both hands together for vegetables or a salad, and 1 handful for starchy foods like pasta, rice, or potatoes. The palm of your hand should represent the lean protein portion, which is about 3-4 ounces. Two thumbs together is for the condiments like dressings, ketchup, mustard, or other dips. Lastly, the tip of your thumb represents the amount of oils or butter.
Of course enjoy your vacation but try to minimize the gains with these simple tips. Think Moderation instead of Overeating, throwing off your healthy wellness goals! When you arrive home from your trip, get back on track with your regular fitness routine, and healthy eating!
Here are 2 of my Favorite Travel Quotes, Enjoy and Bon Voyage!
“Travel leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller” by Ibn Battuta
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on deep, and permanent, in the ideas of living.” By Miriam Beard
Janet Brancato is a Registered Dietitian based out of Glen Rock, NJ. She works with clients online, over the phone, and face to face.