Traveling Light: Cutting the Calories While On the Go
Do you travel a lot? You can still stick to a healthy diet with a little advance planning. If you're watching your weight, these are some simple techniques for cutting calories while on the go.
- Eat well before leaving. It's always easier to resist fattening foods if you feel full. Enjoy a hearty meal before you set out. If you have an early flight, get up in time to enjoy a breakfast of whole-wheat toast and oatmeal with raisins, which will be helpful for your health.
- Call your hotel. Phone the concierge or the front desk at the hotel where you'll be staying. Ask for their recommendations for nearby places where you can eat light. Research the location of the nearest grocery store. You can save money and calories by picking up fresh vegetables and fruits to snack on.
- Do some investigative work. Go online to find your best options at the airports and destinations you have planned. Airport websites usually list their restaurants. Search local business directories by zip code to find ethnic or vegetarian restaurants, health food stores, and farmers markets.
- Bring along bottled water. Bottled water is a traveler's best friend. Staying hydrated helps keep you from feeling hungry. A frozen bottle of water can serve as a cooler to keep your snacks chilled. When it melts, you can drink the water and refill it to use as a free weight for exercising.
- Pack your own meals and snacks. Preparing your own meals and snacks will give you more control over your diet. Put together a trail mix of nuts, lightly sweetened cereal, and dried fruits. Fill zip lock bags with cut vegetables or peanut butter on crackers.
- Keep your car stocked with healthy snacks. Many people spend long hours in their cars. Always have water and healthy snacks handy like nuts, dried fruit, and low-fat energy bars.
Eating Away From Home
- Control your portion sizes. You can enjoy dining out and still eat like a thin person. Make a meal out of a couple of appetizers instead of a full size entree. Cut your entree in half and take the leftovers back to your hotel for breakfast. Split a dessert with your travel companion.
- Eat slowly. Slowing down is a simple and effective way to consume fewer calories. You'll recognize when you're full instead of overeating. Put your fork down in between bites.
- Learn to read menus. Wherever you eat, there are some common terms that usually indicate dishes low in fat and calories. Look for red sauces rather than creamy white sauces, steamed mussels rather than deep fried fish, and pizza with vegetable toppings rather than extra cheese or sausage.
- Fill up on healthy side dishes. If you've already consumed a lot of calories for the day, skip the French fries. Order a green salad with low fat dressing on the side. By putting the dressing on your own salad, you can control the quantity and therefore the calories.
- Avoid high calorie drinks. Soft drinks, shakes, and many cocktails can add on a lot of calories. Drink water with your meals. At the bar, order a small glass of white wine instead of a White Russian.
- Ask for slimmed-down dishes. Many restaurants offer lighter dishes for the health conscious. You can also ask for sauces on the side or substitute another vegetable for the potatoes.
It can be challenging to eat right when you're away from home. Planning ahead will help you avoid being tempted by fast food. A nutritious diet will give you the energy you need to enjoy your travels and return home without any excess baggage.