Headed out on a trip? Whether you’re going by plane, train or automobile, beware: Your travel plans could put a dent in your diet. When you’re away from your kitchen and not following a set schedule, you’re more at risk for mindless snacking and overindulging. Our healthy (and easy!) travel tips will help to keep you in check wherever your journey leads you.
1. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important no matter where you are because it helps keep digestion and metabolism humming. Plus, many people confuse thirst for hunger, so getting enough H20 can also help prevent you from consuming extra—unnecessary—calories. Water is arguably even more important when you’re in the air because the dry cabin air leads to dehydration, which can make you tired, headachy and (you guessed it) hungry. So pack an empty water bottle in your bag and fill it up at the water fountain at rest stops or once you’re past security in the airport.
2. Make time for exercise
Take advantage of your destination’s offerings. For example, if you’re near hiking trails, lace up your sneakers and spend some time outdoors while raising that heart rate. On a beach? Jogging for 1 mile in the sand can feel like 5 miles on regular pavement. Even if you’re stuck in a hotel room, you can squeeze in a quick sweat session, like this 10-minute workout (no equipment needed!).
3. Cheat strategically
Give yourself the option for one cheat each day, and choose to splurge on a meal, dessert or cocktail that’s unique or special to the area you’re visiting. Queso dip in texas? Key Lime Pie in Florida? Beignets in New Orleans? The choice is yours as long as it’s indigenous and delicious.
4. Sip smart
Instead of tropical drinks with umbrellas or specialty drinks served in cups bigger than a fishbowl, opt for one of these lighter cocktails: a glass of red or white wine or champagne (120 calories each), a light beer (about 100 calories), or a shot of liquor with seltzer and a splash of fruit juice, like cranberry or grapefruit (about 100 calories).
And if you’re going on a road trip…
5. Create a healthy snack stash
Pick up some heart-healthy almonds, peanuts or sunflower seeds and divide them into single-serving containers (aim for 1/4 cup per portion, which is equal to a small handful and clocks in at 160 calories). Then, put the containers in your bag or glove compartment for later. If you have the option to pack a cooler, even better! You can fill it with protein-packed items, like low-fat string cheese, hummus and carrots, and Greek yogurt. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you!