Expert Tips on Eating Healthy While Travelling

Jill Wood and Bree Burnett of Nutritional Balance share their advice on how to indulge without gaining weight.

woman-eating-fruit-saladEven with the best intentions, eating healthy while travelling can be a challenge, especially if you’re tired and ravenous. It’s easy to grab the first thing in sight for a quick energy jolt (read: high sugar, high fat). Add vacation to the mix and you’ve suddenly thrown your healthy eating habits out the window. For regular jet-setters, being conscious of what you eat on the go is the difference between staying healthy and packing on unwanted pounds. We too often leave with the best intentions and find ourselves indulging more than we’d like. To find out how to stay happy and healthy en route and on your trip, we chatted with registered holistic nutritionists Jill Wood and Bree Burnett of Nutritional Balance

What’s a healthy snack to pack for the plane?

Once past security try to pick options such as trail mix, nuts and seeds, or protein bars — choose a good quality (read ingredients and nutritional facts labels – specifically sodium levels). Some airports have fresh fruit you can buy too.

What if you forgot to pack a snack and need to grab something on the go. What’s a good option that is still healthy and filling?

If there is a grocery store nearby, grab a mini cottage cheese, yogurt, small salad from the to-go section, raw nuts and seeds or even a piece of fruit. If there isn’t a grocery store, convenience stores and airports often sell small packages of nuts /seeds and grab a large bottle of water (hydrates you and curbs the appetite until you can go somewhere else). Only fast food joints around? More and more fast food restaurants are adding “healthier” item to their menu’s scope the menu and choose something that is not deep fried and full of fats — salads are often a safe bet but be sure to read the ingredients list on the salad dressing as they often are loaded with hidden calories and fat!

How can you enjoy eating out while on vacation, but avoid weight gain?

Often when we go on vacation we use it as an excuse to go nuts and eat everything in sight or all the bad foods. A vacation by definition is not defined as attack the body with any and everything bad for it! Now with this in mind still enjoy yourself — stick to whole foods: lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy proteins. When you do indulge in something you know is not good for you be sure to watch your portions — take small amounts and savor.

What’s the healthiest cocktail or alcoholic beverage to enjoy?

Everything in moderation. Avoiding the mix can often help lower the calories, as sugary sodas are empty calories that we definitely don’t need.  Water is a pure and natural source which is a calorie-free mix. Best option to order: vodka with water/soda water and lime.

What should you avoid when trying to maintain or watch your weight while on vacation?

It is very common when on an all-inclusive, to eat all day long.  Just because food is always available to you doesn’t mean it should be the main attraction. If you find yourself at the buffet table many times a day, that’s OK, but know that 5 small meals a day is completely sufficient to anyone at any time. Keep active on your trip too, get involved in the activities and go for a walk on the beach after dinner. Eating then napping can be a culprit for weight gain, trip or no trip.

Photo courtesy Canyon Ranch.

Photo courtesy Canyon Ranch.

What’s the best way to navigate the buffet table?

We’ve seen many buffet tables and just because it may not be the usual food you may be eating at home doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty food to choose from. Breakfast always has a fresh fruits and cereal section, so if you don’t want to have the greasy bacon and eggs then there is no pressure. There is also always a fresh fruit and salad/vegetable table at all times which you should hit up at every meal. Hot vegetable plates are always provided, so loading up on vegetables is a great way to make sure you don’t overeat. Adding some protein and carbohydrates to your plates is completely acceptable. These are foods we need too. Whatever they have provided, seafood, chicken, beef, etc. is an option. When people start to notice that there pants don’t fit when they return, it’s really from one reason, over indulging! Going back up to the tables for thirds and fourths is just too much. And keep the desserts to a single choice as well. They don’t end up being that good anyway.

Why is it so important to stay hydrated while travelling?

Airplanes are pressure controlled and along with high altitudes and the humidity we tend to dry up quickly when taking flight. Making sure you replenish while flying is really important. These super convenient water bottles by Vapur are a great way to help stay hydrated. These water bottles can roll up nicely making it easy to pack. They are also reusable, attachable, freezable and they are BPA free. Pack it in your carry on and once you have gone through security check fill your bottle at a water fountain or a water refill station that are provided at some airports.