You always start off with grand plans – it’s gonna be all great, healthy balanced, fruit and vegetable filled meals when you travel but somehow, hunger, desperation and food-envy lead you down the wrong path of eating the worst kind of food. This is great when you’re away from home for a few days or even for a week but if you’ve been or indeed are planning to be away for longer periods of time then some swift action needs to be taken if you don’t want to end up having to buy ‘roomier’ clothes (which just eats into your travel budget really and no one needs that!). Here are a few tips to help you eat healthy on the go:
1.) Plan: A lack of planning is probably the biggest enemy to eating right and staying healthy when you’re on holiday. I’ve had my fair share of last minute desperate fast food meals where my hunger dictated the choice (so I can totally relate) but this quick satiation is swiftly followed by ‘chicken-grease-guilt’ and if they’re not what you set out to get originally, you’ll probably end up feeling awful about your choice. Planning ensures that you make a decision on where and what to eat in advance of hunger striking and keep you on track for whatever weight or health targets you set yourself.
2.) Stay hydrated. Actually, to be more precise, drink lots of water. Do this during your meal. Do this before. Do this after. Just do it! 🙂 Water helps you in so many ways and avoid you being constipated when you travel. It’s not just enough to eat the right foods – it’s very important to ‘wash it all down’ with the some refreshing water. Have teas, coffees and even fizzy drinks if you want to (you’re on holiday after all) but water has to be the staple drink you have!
3.) Pack some healthy snacks. Sometimes you’re not able to plan as much due to long periods of travelling. To avoid the hunger rage making decisions for you, get some snacks in to help sate that hunger so that when it’s time to eat, you end up making the right decision and are not desperately looking for anything that can help get rid of the hunger.
4.) Portion Control is important! Don’t over-eat! I used to fall into that habit in the UK and in Europe as the portions can be reasonable but I learned key oddly enough from living and travelling in countries where the portions are both too big and too little – Singapore and The US. Where the portions were too big, I quickly realised I wouldn’t be able to finish the meals and ate only what I felt okay with – this turned out to be much less than I would normally eat in the UK. Same goes for the small portions – initially, I would think I was still hungry after a small portion but after a few minutes and a glass of water, I quickly realised I didn’t need any more food and I was quite full after the meal. Biggest take away point from both experience – the amount of food you need to eat is much less than realise! Don’t starve yourself of course (that goes without saying) but don’t just carry on eating just because the food is available.
5.) Don’t deprive yourself. Try a little indulgent food from time to time. The key is not to gorge on it. The Belgian Waffles in Brussels are great and topped with Belgian chocolate – even better but that is no need to get 3 or 4 in a row. Get one and share with a friend if you’re not travelling solo but you should definitely indulge in treats like that. It sounds counter intuitive to let yourself indulge but what happens is that you don’t end up feeling deprived of an experience or a taste and you not only get to immerse yourself in the culinary delights of where you’re visiting but you also don’t feel like there’s something you’ve missed out on which is one of the biggest ways to create a craving/longing/thirst for something you might not even like nor want!
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