How to eat healthy while traveling?
Traveling is, undoubtedly, the most exciting way to gain new experiences, meet new people, explore a new place, and make bundles of memories. Be it for work or vacation, most of us jump wholeheartedly on the bandwagon of culinary explorations as navigating new cuisines, trying decadent flavors of gelato, and dollops of flavors are simply irresistible. And amidst all the restaurant hopping, street food bingeing, etc even the most experienced travelers seem to fall off their nutrition game.
With all the hotel check-ins, flight hopping, and adventurous itineraries, indeed, maintaining a healthy diet is no easy feat. But do we really have to compromise on our diet when traveling? The answer is NO!
With some conscious choices, discipline, and dedication you can stick to healthy eating while making the most of your travel experiences. Here’s how!
Exercise portion control
Maintaining a healthy diet is as much about how much you eat as it is about what you eat. Unless you are eating your portion size, your diet isn’t healthy. Instead of bingeing on an extra slice of New York-style cheesecake, or getting two more spoonfuls off that rice, practice controlling your portions as you go on a culinary tour. From picking nutritious food, reading the serving size, etc to filling up smaller plates, measuring your drinks and limiting the quantity when you are eating out – exercising portion control can help you keep your diet in check and still be full of energy to explore new avenues.
High protein meals
Protein is the building block of the body – the source of energy responsible for body functioning, repair, and maintenance. Eating a protein-rich diet viz. grilled meat, steamed fish, bean sprouts, almonds, flax seeds or even a power-packed omelet can keep you full for longer and live through a day full of travel without hunger pangs. Think about protein smoothies, sprout salads, and meat sandwiches (but with a light dressing). Having a high protein meal will also ensure that you don’t lose all the hard-gained muscles from before.
Gravy – On the side, please!
It is hard to ignore palpitating deliciousness of Butter Chicken, or for that matter, a creamy bowl of pasta when eating out. The dark truth is that even if your food contains endless nutritive goodness, the process of grilling, frying, and dipping of food into butter-laden creamy gravies ruins the nutritive value while adding dollops of calories. When ordering food in restaurants ask to serve the gravy on the sides, this way you can enjoy your grilled chicken without adding too many calories to your diet.
Live-counters over served-on-table
Fancy made-to-order food? Live counters are your best friend! As you go exploring new food scenes in new cities, opt to visit the live-counter restaurants like Salad bars, subways and more where you can choose what goes into your food. Get your order customized to your diet preferences at these live-counters and maintain eating healthy while savoring new tastes.
10000 steps a day!
‘10,000 steps’ is the gold standard for an active and fit lifestyle. Walking through the airport, exploring that old fort or just heading for a business meeting, traveling on foot makes it easier for us to achieve the daily fitness goal. Skip the lift, walk an extra block or avoid the local cab for a short walk – no matter where you are in the world, ensure you cover your 10,000 steps religiously!
Say NO to snacking
It’s no wonder that most of us carry our mini food kits with processed, packaged and fried foods like crisps and chips with us when we travel. In fact, you might have one in your bag right now. The processed food adds up bland calories with no dietary goodness while jeopardizing our health goals. It’s time to snack smart! Say No to snacking and replace the potato chips, and corn crisps with locally sourced fruits, nuts, seeds, etc to snack on healthy, fibrous and nutritious food.
Stick to healthy alternatives
If you are a foodie, maintaining a diet while you travel can seem like a nightmare! How else are you going to explore new cuisines? But, you don’t always have to compromise on taste when it comes to eating healthy! Stick to grilled/tandoor/roasted food from the menu and pick the food that you actually eat. If ordering gravies like butter chicken, chilly paneer, etc, pick up the protein/meat from the dish and eat just that. It is not what’s on the table, but what you eat that matters!
From packing nuts and seeds for your journey to choosing the right ingredients across nations – all you need is a little mindfulness each time you eat! Make a change one meal at a time and see the change for yourself. And if it is still tough to follow, get your personalized MSF plans and I’ll help you!