The fast-paced American lifestyle hardly gives us enough time to cook, so many of us have to resort to fast food and other quick options. Unfortunately, these options aren’t exactly the healthiest foods for you. Luckily, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of ways you can eat healthy on the road and avoid unwanted weight gain. Try these tips to help you make healthier choices on your next road trip, vacation or business adventure.
How to Eat Healthy on the Go
Pack in advance
This is probably the easiest way to resist temptation while on the road. Packing healthy snacks beforehand will help you avoid fast food and other unhealthy fare when you’re on the road. Not only is this healthier, but it’s also more economical. Having prepared snacks will help spare your wallet from some significant financial damage. Trail mix is a good snack choice — so are protein bars. Pack according to your personal preferences and you should find it easier to maintain your healthy diet plan.
If you have to stop at a restaurant, see if they have a healthy options menu
A lot of restaurants now offer healthier options, so be sure to ask if there’s any such menu wherever you stop — some places do not give you the healthy menu unless you specifically ask for it. You should also be the lookout for certain keywords like “fried” and “battered” on the menu. These types of food tend to contain big amounts of fat and other not-so-healthy nutrients. Common sense can go a long way when perusing a menu, so make sure you take your time to find the best choices for your waistline.
Try to eat at the same time every day
Getting your body into a regular schedule is a good way to manage hunger. If you eat lunch at 11 a.m. one day and then 3 p.m. the next day, your metabolism can get out of whack and you’ll possibly end up overeating. With time zones and other factors, it can be difficult to follow this step but do your best. This tip is a lot easier to follow if you’re staying in the same time zone and have a structured schedule in place (like if you’re on a business trip).
Cut down on alcohol
When you’re on vacation, it’s normal to indulge a little. However, too much alcohol can stimulate your appetite. Combine this with lowered inhibitions, and that order of loaded cheese fries suddenly looks amazing. If you plan on drinking, stick to just 1-2 drinks to minimize the appetite-stimulating effect. You may also want to stick to low-calorie options like light beers to limit calorie damage.
Work out when you can
Sometimes it’s just impossible to eat healthy on the road. If that’s the case, work out more. Many hotels have a fitness center, even if it’s just a measly treadmill. No gym? No problem: Lace up your shoes and hit the pavement for a morning run. Working out can limit the damage that a poor diet has on your weight. Of course, all the exercise in the world won’t fix a bad diet, but at least you’re doing something.
Avoid any liquid that isn’t water
Beverage calories can add up fast so make sure you’re drinking water instead. Water is the ultimate beverage because it contains no calories and can fill you up. Nonetheless, some people find plain ol’ water to be boring. Add some lemon in it for a hint of citrus taste. The occasional Coke probably won’t hurt you in the long run, but keep it occasional.
Control your portions
Portion control can really help you maintain a healthy diet on the road. Just because someone serves you a huge plate of food doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. Instead, eat until you’re 75% full. And then wait. After a few minutes, you probably won’t have any room to squeeze in any more food. Again, use common sense and don’t stuff yourself.