American tourists spend around $112 billion abroad when traveling as projected by The United Nations World Tourism Organization. They spent most on accommodations, travel arrangements, and food. Traveling, whether for leisure or for business, affects more than just your finances. If you factor in the early flights, airport food, late check-ins, convenience stores and you have the recipe for extra pounds around the waist. Adding in the multitude of rich and delicious local food options, temptation runs pretty high.
Exploring other cultures does not have to mean that you have to lose sight of your health goals and be unable to sustain healthy eating. It is something that most people struggle with as they try to enjoy the beauty of the world. For the health conscious it is essential to find out just how do you eat healthy while traveling?
How To Eat Healthy While Traveling (Top Tips)
Know Your Schedule
You start your path to eating healthy on the road by knowing your upcoming schedule of movement and activities. What sort of country or place are you visiting? How long will the travel to and fro take? What’s your schedule for transfers, check-ins, activities, and checkouts? When you know the answers, you get a clearer idea of what you’ll need to prepare for.
You can always make your schedule work for you by planning things ahead of the travel date. You can stock up on healthier snacks for the morning of, for the road, and even when you’re sitting pretty on the plane. Personally, I find time to put together healthy travel snacks that take minimal space in my carry-on. That way I can fish it out when hunger pangs come. You can go with carrot sticks, some dry fruits like packed nuts, or even a healthy sandwich.
Kashmiri Dry Fruits
Your schedule lets you know what your options are. You need to be on top of it so you won’t fall for the trap of the airport concessionaires that offer quick but unhealthy and expensive options.
Be Familiar With What’s Local
Beyond knowing your schedule, it would be good to know what’s available in the area that you’ll be in. The local area you’re in will always have a market, and it helps to be familiar with what’s right. You can help yourself with fruit that’s cheaper from markets rather than groceries. In tropical countries, you can choose fruits that are low in sugar like raspberries, guavas, kiwi, and apricots.
You can also choose to buy vegetables that can find in most places like lettuce, cucumber, asparagus, and kale. Of course, meat is also on the menu, and you can choose healthy portions like chicken breast fillets or lean meat. You spare yourself the hassle of wondering what’s available or dealing with a language barrier if you take time to get to know the locale. You can achieve this by doing a bit of research beforehand or try and make friends with the locals. The local residents are often a treasure trove of information about hidden gems that are in their area. They can help you navigate your path toward the best and healthiest food options.
Local Fruits from Ubud Market in Bali
If going to the market is not your cup of tea, you are missing out, but that’s not the end of the line. Get to know the local eating spots around where you’re staying. Knowing what’s available locally helps you understand what threatens your diet. Knowledge of local fares give you an idea if there are any veggie or vegan versions of a dish so you can get the flavor but none of the guilt that comes with it.
Practice Smart “Home” Cooking
Vacations are an exciting time for discovering new flavors, but dining out 24/7 is not good for you. An excellent way to avoid gaining any extra pounds while traveling is to be personally involved in your meals; of course, this refers to cooking. Cooking your own meals while out means you get to control the portion sizes and what ingredients go into it. You don’t even have to dabble in exotic food if you’re not comfortable with it; you can choose to visit a grocery and buy what’s familiar.
All you need to be really conscious about is how you cook the meal. Eating healthy means trying to avoid frying things or using too much salt and oil when you make your meals. This often leads to a debate about the taste or flavor of the end result, so it’s up to you to step up the cooking process.
Fruits Salad with Orange Juice – Anitha’s Garden Stay
There are portable smart cooking appliances like a personal blender or a small grill that elevates your cooking and keeps it healthy. You can use these smart cooking appliances to create stews, soups, and plated meals for yourself and keep the pounds away. Bring a bit of your home with you when you travel, and you’ll see the health benefits in the long-term.
Breakfast Is Your Best Friend
Dietitians and doctors always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you’re trying to eat wisely, you had best believe it. After all, it is through breakfast that we replenish our glucose levels and even improve our memory down the line. When traveling, you can come to expect a lot of movement and exertion; breakfast will give you the energy that you need.
Most accommodations come with breakfast, but you still need to be wise about what you eat. You can cut down your hunger pangs through the day by picking proteins like mushrooms and eggs. Fruits remain to be a good choice but stay away from the ones that are high in sugar like bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and lychees.
Healthy Keralan Breakfast – Idli with Sambar
Bread Toast topped with Tomatoes and Kale – Sevana City Hotel
Avoid sugary cereals and starchy foods. Carbs are good, but you should avoid overeating of it. Always remember that if you skip breakfast, you’ll find yourself reaching for fatty snacks before lunch rolls around. So you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor by making sure you eat a good breakfast.
Relax and Enjoy the Travel
We tend to discount how much our emotions factor into the amount we feel we need to eat. Stress is a huge contributing factor to overeating and indulging in sweets, so you need to stay chill. I understand that there are those that are not in the best of moods in transit but making an active choice to calm down will do wonders.
Your decision to eat healthily will rely on your ability to control your emotions since anyone can relate to needing a pick-me-up after a bad day. There’s a lot around you that can be a suitable distraction from stress. You can try going on a tour to see local art or enjoying what’s available in the resort you’re staying at.
Lunch with Arab Salad – Cameron aa Curry House Restaurant in Cameron Highlands
Traveling is something that you should enjoy, but it should not derail your health plans or give you any extra stress. It is entirely possible for anyone to eat healthy while on the road and it doesn’t take excessive studying or mind calisthenics. All you need to do is to keep in mind the few simple tips that I shared today. I will confess that it is often challenging but what is life without a few challenges now and again? Eating healthy is not something that many people regret; it’s an investment for your future.
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Do you enjoy eating healthy while traveling? Share your healthy travel food ideas.