Deciding what to eat on the day that you’re travelling can be frustrating. It’s frustrating because of your limited choices and weakened will power, as you’re probably either relaxed (vacation) or stressed (business trips).
When it comes to a vacation, most people tend to restrict themselves in the lead-up and lose all will once the holiday barrier is broken. But it’s important to keep this barrier in place for as long as possible. Why? Well, for most, a 14-day trip of constant indulgence, which starts from the very first movement, is more than enough to cause havoc, and airports and train stations don’t offer anything special in terms of food—most of them know they have a captive market, and they’re happy to sell cheap food at a high price. Business trips, meanwhile, are even more difficult, since socialising and meetings dictate what you eat, and alcohol is more than likely involved.
Starting your journey off with some bad food and a drink will only make things worse once you arrive at your hotel, where again your options will be limited due to your busy schedule. The tolls of each one of these choices accumulates over the course of the whole trip.
It's important you eat well before you leave the house. Your last meal should be a serving of lean protein, healthy fats and multiple servings of vegetables. A healthy meal will help you feel fuller, and a clean source of protein is generally the hardest thing to find at the airport or train station.
Once you’re well fed and ready to leave, there are five ways you can manage your hunger and eating while you travel.
Option one: drinks
It's amazing how many people mistake hunger for thirst, so keep some water handy at all times. If you’re a coffee or tea lover, then be aware of the time zone of your destination Too much caffeine during the day when you’re landing at night will make jet lag much harder to get over. Also, alcohol not only affects the quality of your sleep but is more potent with changes in air pressure, fatigue and dehydration.
Option two: be specific
Finding a healthy meal isn’t impossible, but you will more than likely have to ask and be creative. Adding extra’s to your meal, like extra protein or greens is a great way to achieve this. This will probably be costly but unfortunately it's the price we have to pay for living a healthier lifestyle.
Option three: fasting
This option is a little different but can yield great results for some. It's important to understand that this is not as an excuse to binge before and after your trip or travel. If my only options were eating unhealthy processed foods or fasting, I'd choose not to eat (although coffee and tea are okay). This option takes a huge amount of discipline, but it can benefit your fat-loss results and have a positive impact on your energy levels.
Too many people overeat junk and sugary foods, only to feel miserable later. Processed foods wreak havoc in your guts which you don’t want when you’re stuck in a chair for a 16-hour flight. Making the right meal choice is important, or you’ll be suffering the whole time, whether or not you go to the bathroom.
Fasting helps eliminate that, but only if you’ve followed my advice and eaten well before leaving the house. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, prepare the same healthy meal again (or something similar) and carry on as normal. Just remember to drink plenty of water during your fast.
Option four: enjoy and don't worry
Your fourth option is self-explanatory: just eat what you want and enjoy it. Sometimes we need and deserve that mental break. But remember what I said before— if you’re living a healthy lifestyle, two weeks of nonstop indulgence will destroy everything, so be careful of your overall intake.
Option five: prepare some food
Now, this option comes with its own ‘terms and conditions’, as it depends on where or how you're travelling. Preparing your own food can be a great option, but I'm not going to deny that it can also be the most troubling. For instance, at an airport, you won’t be able to take certain foods beyond security, or if you’re travelling in the heat, then you’ll need the right set-up (a cooler, for example).
There are many ways to help yourself eat and drink better while travelling, but so many of us forgo healthy choices because of frustration. With a little bit of planning, you can really change the outcome of your next trip.
I’d love to know what you think, and please share this with anyone who needs to see it.
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JC and The Nutri-Team