TRAVEL AND STAY ON YOUR NUTRITION PLAN
It is often asked, “What can I do when I’m traveling to stay on my nutrition plan?”.
Granted, when you are traveling, you are not as in control of your schedule or your food choices. Still, it is possible and important that you learn some strategies to stay on track while you are traveling or out of your normal routine.
When you are flying, one of the first things you should do once you have cleared security is to purchase a bottle of water – a large one. You should keep a water bottle with you at all times. Take it with you in the car, on the plane, to your meetings and events.
Pack some Meal Replacement Shakes & Bars
When traveling or not in control of your schedule, meal replacements can save the day! If you have been rushed and don’t have food available, pull out a meal replacement. If it is time to eat and the next meal break is two hours away, eat half a meal using a meal replacement bar or snack.
How to choose a Meal Replacement
Look for meal replacements that have close to equal amounts of protein and carbohydrate. You will need to read the nutrition label to check the number of calories and grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat to do this. You can add a handful of raw almonds if you need more fat. Reminder: liquid meal replacements will not clear airport security.
Pack some meals or snacks to take with you
An apple and a few boiled eggs or a can of tuna and mayonnaise (in a deli packet) on a wrap are a couple of items you can easily take with you. If you are far enough along on your program you will be comfortable choosing the right portions and ratios for a meal at one of the delis before you get on the plane.
Some good options generally available would be a chicken or turkey wrap or a sandwich; if there is too much carbohydrate for you in a whole sandwich, eat only half of the bread, and remember for your fat you can have either cheese or mayonnaise but not both. Chicken Cesar Salad with a small amount of dressing is another good option.
Beware of food served on airplanes
Airplanes often serve packaged snacks containing “processed cheese food” (not real cheese), crackers and cookies made with refined wheat flour and sugars, and foods with high sodium content. These do not promote health and if you have been eating “healthy” foods you will notice a difference in the way you feel right away.
Choose your protein first and build the rest of your meal around it
Use this rule when eating out or a guest at a party.
Strategies to keep meal sizes appropriate
Order off of the appetizer menu, share a meal with a friend, or take half of your meal with you to eat later to control the size of your meals when eating out.
Avoid entrées containing pasta & sauces
This is a recipe (no pun intended here) for eating too many carbohydrates and fats at your meal.
When you arrive back home, you’ll probably be looking forward to getting back on your plan 100%. Even when making the best choices available, it is not unusual to get slightly off your plan, and you will likely notice the difference in the way you feel. When traveling or eating out you are not as in control of your meals or the quality of your foods. It is easy to eat too many carbohydrates, and commercially prepared or restaurant foods typically contain a lot more fat and sodium than when you are preparing your meals at home.
Don’t measure the weight the moment you get back! Allow a couple of days to flush out the excess water you are likely retaining from traveling, extra sodium and carbohydrates you may have consumed while away. When you do weigh yourself, if you have maintained your weight then give yourself some credit. Give yourself a “pat on your back” for making the best possible choices while you were away. During times of stress, when traveling, or out of your normal routine simply maintaining your weight is a “win!” Give yourself the credit you deserve and continue along your journey!