Such a common thing to hear from people about their diets or health plans unraveling is that vacation did it. But the very first step of a vacation that alters these goals much quicker is the travel part. When traveling to a destination spot, or even just a couple towns over, starting with healthy choices can be the key to feeling good right up until going back to work. (Of course, when traveling or taking a vacation, try not to stifle experiences or outings just because of food stress – have fun).
1 – Plan snacks ahead of time
Whether on an airplane or in a car, remaining healthy is nearly impossible without some planning. Free airline snacks or easy fast food dinners might seem ideal until it messes with how you feel. In the air, bringing bags of trail mix or a homemade sandwich is much more filling and helps make sure you don’t feel limited with your choices. Chances are you’ll feel prouder and more energized this way, too. TSA allows most foods as long as they’re packaged and the proper size (usually for liquids), but if you’re unsure check their website. For road trips, and even commutes, having a small cooler stocked with freshly cut fruit, granola bars, and hummus cups can make all the difference. French fries always sound good on the road, but sticking to your healthy options during long drives ensures you stay away from bloat and will help advance your health journey. It’s important to bring foods you can safely eat while driving if you can’t pull over, so just keep that in mind.
2 – Stay hydrated
One of the most important things to do anywhere at any time is to hydrate. First of all, water is so necessary for every act of daily life and not having enough can make you fatigued, give you headaches, and make you crave so many things you don’t actually want or need. By bringing around refillable water bottles everywhere – in this case during en route to your vacation – you’ll be hydrated enough to do all the fun things you planned for yourself as well as feel more inclined to make healthier choices. When I get dehydrated, I start to crave foods with little to no nutritional value, and mostly when I’m not even actually hungry. I drink a couple cups of water and I’m usually good without whatever I was pining for. If I’m still hungry after that, I try to make a more mindful snack choice. So on the plane, in the car, at your hotel, and everywhere in between, drink as much water as you can – don’t letting having to use the bathroom on the road or in the air stop you.
3 – Don’t deprive yourself
A surefire way to make your vacation less enjoyable is not letting yourself indulge at least a little. It’s never fun to eat raw spinach on the beach while everyone around you is enjoying that lobster roll you can only get a certain time of year. If it’s really important to you to stay strict with yourself on vacation, that’s fine too, just as long as you enjoy yourself on your trip. For dietary restrictions, it can feel much harder to let loose on your diet away from home. Try to look up grocery stores and restaurants in the area where you can make or get your own versions of fun travel food. It’s not fun to feel like you’re doing chores on vacation, and that also applies to eating and staying healthy. It’s all about balance and staying mindful, especially in a new environment.