Traveling for work frequently can become a burden. You have fitness goals and want to stay on track, but breakfast buffets, late-night take-outs, and countless other indulgences make the process much more difficult.
Eating healthily at home can be easy enough because you get to prepare all of your meals. Doing so while on the go is more challenging but certainly not impossible.
For today's post, we had Emilina Lomas share her tips and tricks on eating healthy on the road. As a personal trainer and holder of a B.Sc. & M. Sc. in nutrition, she certainly had some fantastic insights on the matter. With that in mind, let us look at four of the easiest ways to eat healthy while traveling for work or pleasure.
1. Go to a Grocery Store
A significant roadblock to eating well on the road is that people attempt to do so while having all of their meals in restaurants, diners, and fast-food joints. While that is certainly one way to go about it, a safer alternative would be to visit the local grocery stores. "Whole Foods" is a popular chain that sells plenty of healthy foods, but virtually all grocery stores will offer healthy foods.
As far as specific food items go, pick foods with simple ingredients lists. Take food off the shelf and inspect the nutritional label. The fewer ingredients it has, the better. Fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, are also fantastic options. While there is certainly a debate on GMO and non-GMO foods, a banana will always deliver numerous essential nutrients your body needs.
In contrast, avoid those foods with nutritional labels that resemble chemistry lessons. Processed foods are full of chemicals, including preservatives, coloring agents, sweeteners, and more, designed for good taste and long shelf life. In some cases, food might come across as healthy because the label suggests it is "diet," "low-calorie," or "high-protein," but it could still be full of unhealthy ingredients, so be careful.
2. Go to a Chain Restaurant
It would be difficult to find yourself in a town with no grocery stores available, but that could happen. In such a case, finding a chain restaurant might be your only reasonable choice for some healthy meals. However, even restaurants considered to offer only fast foods are required by law to have healthier and lower-calorie options available. The great thing about most restaurant chains is that they come with online menus, where you can check the available food items and their respective nutritional labels. You can determine what you will be offering even before you get there.
With that in mind, here are a few examples of healthy and lower-calorie meals you can order at some prominent chains:
- Starbucks: Spinach, egg white and feta wrap — 290 calories, 10g fat, 19g protein, 6g fiber
- McDonald’s: 2 egg white delight muffins — 500 calories, 16g fat, 36g protein, 8g fiber
- Subway: Six inch turkey breast sandwich — 280 calories, 3.5g fat, 18g protein, 5g fiber
- Burger King: Whopper Jr. sandwich with no mayo — 260 calories, 9g fat, 14g protein, 1g fiber
None of these are considered "healthy," apart from maybe Subway, but you have got options.
3. Ask the Server
Okay, let's assume that you have somehow found yourself in a place where there are no grocery stores or chain restaurants. The scenario is unlikely but not entirely impossible. What do you do then? In that case, you will probably have most of your meals in one or more restaurants in the area. The good news is that most places will have at least some limited healthy options on the menu. Plus, it never hurts to talk to the server and put together a healthy meal for yourself.
For example, let's say that the menu offers chicken Parmesan and some form of vegetables. You can ask for a combined meal that includes some grilled chicken with a side of veggies. You might get some weird looks, but hey: nothing beats having a healthy and delicious meal.
4. Be prepared
Many people fail to realize that one good way to eat healthy while traveling is to prepare ahead of time. But what would that mean? Well, it means preparing some food for your trip, especially if it will not last longer than a few days. Many people would be surprised how many foods you can bring to cover your nutritional bases for the entire trip. Standard options include fruits, protein bars, and protein powder. You can also get creative with nuts, seeds, Trail mix, beef jerky, and other long-lasting foods with good nutritional value.
Here is one more idea you might not have thought about: Prepare some meals, place them in containers and store them in the fridge. Those will be good for at least five days, so why not take advantage of meal prepping? You can even ask to put them in the fridge of the plane, get them back when you land, and store them in your hotel room's refrigerator.
Preparation is vital, so do not overlook simple tactics you can use to make the whole experience better.
Eating well while traveling for work or pleasure can be difficult. It might even feel impossible at times, especially if you follow a diet, such as keto. You will feel like you are fighting a losing battle, but there is always a way to make it work.
Following our tips will make it easier to eat healthy, regardless of your circumstances. You will stay on track with your health goals and feel much better about yourself. When combined with a good gym and a solid fitness app, you will become unstoppable.