Travel Tips & Tricks

Lifestyle Education Discussion:
“Travel Tips & Tricks”
You want to be healthy and feel great. You have a great plan working for you, but then suddenly–an unexpected business trip comes up. Next thing you know you’re on a plane headed to a hotel with coworkers whose eating habits resemble that of a teenage kid at a pizza joint. The flight is delayed and the local scene is a food dessert. You’re left with very few options and hunger wins. You end up eating and drinking with the crew and struggle to get back on track when you return home. All of this despite your best intentions. If you’ve faced similar situations, you are definitely not alone. Travelling is challenging and requires thoughtful planning and strategizing.

The people I meet that lose weight and keep it off all have this one thing in common: they have a plan, and although they may not execute it perfectly every time, they learn from their mistakes and they do better next time. There are multiple factors that makes losing weight (and keeping it off) challenging and one of those is traveling. Whether it’s a vacation, business travel or an unexpected out of town funeral, it’s important to have a plan. Here’s some tips and strategies we identified yesterday in class:

– Write out your plan ahead of time
– Asses the situation. Are the people and places around you helping or hurting you? Unless you’re dining with a group of dietitians or health coaches :), your peers are likely sabotaging you
– pack your own meals and snacks if possible, and it’s almost always possible
– Expect the unexpected–flight delays, traffic jams, etc. “proactive pessimism”
– Check your mindset. Are you in “vacation” mode or are you focused on your goals?

– Eat ahead of time
– If traveling by plane, pack foods allowed such as trail mix, high quality sandwich, protein bars, fruit, cheese stick, etc
– If traveling by car, pack a cooler with cut up veggies, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, nuts, etc
– stay on schedule with snacks and meals and avoid getting too hungry
– Drink plenty of water
– Book hotel rooms with a mini fridge
– Go to a grocery store (or even walmart/target) and load up on quality foods
– take hotel stairs whenever possible
– travel with yoga mat and exercise bands for workout in hotel room
– When you arrive in town, use yelp, myfitness pal or similar to research local restaurants and plan where you will eat (if time allows, research options ahead of time such as in the airport or on the plane)
– Get plenty of sleep. Poor sleep can lead to poor food choices due to cravings

– Tuna or salmon packs with mustard packets
– Cucumbers
– Hard boiled eggs
– Cheese stick or Babybel cheese
– Dr Kracker Crispbread crackers
– Greek Yogurt such as Chobani or Fage
– 100 calorie almonds, Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix
– 100 calorie Guacamole
– Think Thin protein Bars, Kind bars, Lara bars or Optifast bars
– Individually packaged protein powders
– nitrate free, lower sodium jerky such as Krave or Whole Foods 365 brand
– nitrate free, lower sodium turkey slices
– Justin’s peanut butter or almond butter packets
– sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

If you find that you are traveling often, you will have to be extra diligent and thoughtful with your planning. This may sound extreme, but I would have to ask you how bad do you want to be healthy? If you want it bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you will find excuses. I know a guy who drives a truck for a living (an 18 wheeler). He spends the majority of his days and nights on the road, but still manages to eat good quality food by packing his meals and snacks (he installed a mini fridge in his truck). He has lost over 100 pounds and refuses to go back to that old lifestyle of burgers, fries and fast food. His determination is an inspiration and proves that eating healthy on the road can be done.

Be sure to check out our pinterest page for more ideas.

About the Author
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach specializing in lifestyle transformation