If you are on a healthy eating plan, traveling can throw ya for a loop. I always tell my clients to really set a goal before they travel in order to stay active and avoid weight gain on their trip. But what if on day 1 of travel, you go to the airport and are warmly greeted with Cinnabon aromas looming into your nostrils and up to your brain triggering you to think that you need that sweet, oversized, 880 calorie morsel of cinnamon flavored fat? Let me tell you from experience, if day one goes bad, day 2, 3, 4 and so-on will follow suit and the internal plan of “I’ll start again when I get back home” strikes. Well, 10lbs later, you are back home and starting all over on your weight loss and fitness plan, and really bummed you are back to square one. So how can we vacation healthier from the start of day 1 at the airport?
Here are some of my best tips to help navigate that first day and keep your mindset of eating healthy on your trip as a reality!
Plan, plan, plan!!! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You’ve heard it before, so why don’t we plan ahead for travel? Yes, there might be some unexpected bumps in the road but if we at least have a plan, it will make those bumps a little easier.
1. Call Ahead Don’t be afraid to call the airport as ask about the food options throughout the terminals and specifically, your gate.
2. Research Airline Online While your booking your flight online, spend some time exploring your airlines website to see what kind of food they offer on the plane. Is there a heart healthy option?
3. Bring Snacks If you have plenty of healthy snacks, you will be prepared for the airport and your journey in the sky that will most likely not have any good options for ya. Some easy carry-ons are : raw nuts, low sugar protein bar, nitrate free beef or turkey jerky, fruit, or string cheese)
4. Bring a Lunch After step 1 and 2, you discover healthy options are not an option and your flight has a noon take-off, pack a non-liquid sack lunch. Edibles are allowed through security unless you are going into another country that doesn’t allow food. You will most likely be rushed from the night before of last minute packing, so think easy… A simple sandwich, left over stir fry in a throw away plastic container or grab a healthy to-go bite from the market on your way out to the airport.
So let’s consider worst case scenario – what if you skip steps 1-4 and don’t plan? Then what do you do? Starve? NAY!
I would rather you get little snacks that you can have all day to keep your metabolism up than to starve your body and go crazy when you land. If you have to eat at the airport, here are a few tips to make healthier choices given your options:
1. Look for a Sandwich Shop There are plenty of bad, some decent and few good that offer a healthy-esque sandwich. But they do exist! Look for a sandwich on whole wheat bread with turkey and mustard- hold the cheese and the mayo.
2. Seek Salads Look for a place that carries healthy salads and ask for their low fat vinaigrette dressing. If they don’t have it, scope out the condiments section for some olive oil and balsamic.
3. Hunt Down a Starbucks Order a skinny latte (which are low in sugar and under 200 calories), grab some almonds and large bottle of water to go! I also like Starbucks protein snack pack.
4. If You Must Go Fast Food Get their healthiest option. Stay away from the fried foods and get a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich. Choose the least of the evils!
I am not going to tell you this will be easy when there are so many yummy things conveniently at your disposal at the airport. However, if you truly want to stick to your healthy goals, realize that cheating that first day could snowball into the rest of the trip. Try your hardest to make healthy choices. That first, critical decision will help you stay on track for the remainder of your trip. Yes, you will have some “cheat” nights, which is understandable on vacation, but at least make it on some amazing wine or 5-star meal… not a $3 cinnabon that will be sitting in your gut and on your mind for way too long. You will thank yourself at the end of your trip when you get home and aren’t dwelling on the number glaring back at you from your scale.
If you are on instagram or facebook we’d love to hear about your healthy travel tips! Just snap a pic, give us your tip and tag #healthytravels and #pfcfit in your post!