Eating Healthy While Traveling
Even the most carefully-laid health and fitness goals can be derailed by traveling. One day you’re at home prepping Tupperware containers with veggies and lean proteins and suddenly you’re in an airport with 2 pretzel dogs, a candy bar you paid $9.50 for, and a “real fruit” smoothie that you watched them pour from a carton, feeling dazed and somehow still very hungry.
While vacations or work travel can be a time to indulge and enjoy the foods you love, the last thing you want is to spend them feeling lethargic or sick because you’re not fueling your body with what it needs. Plus, sitting for hours in a car, train, or plane can leave you feeling less than invigorated. Luckily, with a bit of forethought, there are plenty of ways to keep exercising and eating healthy while travelling so that you feel your best without sacrificing a little fun and indulgence – no matter how far you are from home.
You can pack more food than you think
Bringing healthy snacks will help you avoid crashing or running for the closest fast food when you're off of your normal eating schedule. Try to pack a few nutrient-dense options like pieces of fruit, a pouch of nut butter, some seed crackers, and some high-protein options like whey protein powder, hard boiled eggs, and a healthy bar or energy balls in case you're craving a sweet treat. This blog has some great tips and ideas for healthy foods you can bring through security.
Stop at a grocery store when you arrive at your destination
Stock up on a couple healthy snacks that you can put in the fridge or prep in your hotel room. Some of our favorites are bananas, apples, canned fish, avocados, salad greens, and yogurt. And get creative – if you have a coffee pot, you have hot water to make oatmeal, rice, and even quinoa! If there's a nice grocery store with prepared food or a salad bar, such as a Whole Foods, you can even grab dinner there rather than getting takeout.
Make breakfast count
If you typically travel for work, it often means having lunch and dinner with clients or colleagues - which may mean you have little power over where you eat those meals. It can be helpful to pack plenty of protein and nutrients into your breakfast, both to fuel the day and to make sure you're on track for the day in case someone suggests Philly Cheesesteaks for lunch or that amazing taco place for dinner.
Indulge where you want, but make healthy swaps where you can
People tend to splurge a little more on vacations, and there's a way to do that without making your body (ahem, digestive system) go into panic mode. Swap out less healthy sides for a vegetable, share desserts with a buddy, walk to your destination rather than Ubering, try to balance a splurge-y dinner with a healthier lunch and breakfast, and give yourself some grace. Skip the foods you're not crazy about and truly enjoy the local cuisine and foods you're craving without worrying about calories.
Bring a reusable water bottle
Use walking/running to explore the city
If you're in a safe part of town and have a free hour, try taking a walk or run outdoors, even if it's an ugly day outside. It feels way less like exercise and a lot more like sightseeing, plus you notice spots you might not otherwise have passed or paid attention to.
Stay somewhere that has a kitchen
If you stay in a rented house, or an extended stay hotel, you can cook in an actual kitchen! This will allow you to stick more to your typical routine (and save some dolla dolla bills), which is great if you travel frequently for work.
Try simple workouts in a hotel room or house
There are tons of great workout videos online, or you can mix and match some yoga poses or bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks, lunges, squat jumps, and tons more. Here are a few great ideas to get you started!
Kill time at the airport by taking a walk
Rather than paying for expensive airport wifi and sitting on your phone, take a loop around to get the blood flowing between long flights.
Research local restaurants before you go
If you're starving at the end of a long travel day, it's likely you'll choose the first spot you find to grab food - which is often a fast food chain without many nourishing options. Before you go (or even while you're on the plane/train/rideshare), look for fresh or farm to table restaurants. Local spots often use more local, seasonal, and fresh ingredients.
Sticking to your fitness goals and eating healthy while traveling doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym or bland salads for every meal. A few tweaks here and there can help you enjoy your trip while feeling like your sparkliest, most energetic self.