Travelling & Sticking to your Diet
The excuse of not staying on track with your diet because you’re travelling is kind of a wash these days. You now have more than enough options and reasons to be able to stay on track with your diet.
If you follow a Macronutrient based diet, where you track the macronutrients you consume and you aren’t super strict with your food choices, you can easily travel and stay on track. If you read the labels (read my Nutrition Labels article here) and track your food in a mobile App, you’ll have no trouble at all.
Sticking to a set meal plan can prove to be a little trickier, BUT it’s absolutely do-able!
Driving is probably the easiest, as all you need is a quality cooler bag- lined, easy to clean and with lots of pockets to carry all your meals and snacks. How do you thin truck drivers do it? Portable microwave, cooler etc!
Air travel can be a little trickier as you have to follow air safety/security measures set out already. But, if you know the rules than you can stay within them and still stay on track.
I’ve compiled some things to keep in mind when you travel to help you stick to your meal plan and not lose sight of your goals just because you’re riding or flying across country:
- 1- Try your best to keep a normal eating schedule. This will help lessen the blow your body and it’s blood sugar levels take while will prevent you from having crazy dips that give you an excuse to indulge in vending machine treats or road side tacos. Just eat as you normally would. If that’s every 2 or 3 hours, try to be consistent.
- 2- If you’re travelling in the air, try to pack foods that aren’t overly offensive for your travel neighbor. Example; eggs. Make sure that they are peeled before you pack then so you don’t release their odor to the entire cabin. Also, pack foods that are safe to eat at room temperature. Foods that don’t need to be refrigerated, like yogurt, doesn’t really travel that well in the air.
Now, if you’re driving you could pack in your cooler some ice packs and yogurt or other meats would stay fresh and ready to eat.
- 3- Packs SMART snacks! It’s easy to grab candy and chocolates. Instead, hit up your local bulk foods store and grab some Seeds, Nuts, “healthy” trail mix, rice cakes, some dried fruit maybe or even jerky (watch the sugar & sodium though). Choosing foods that match up as closely as possible to your normal food plan will help you stay on plan even in the less than idea circumstances.
- 4- WATER!! Make sure that you’re well hydrated! Bring a reusable water bottle to fill when you can. When you fly you won’t be able to bring a full water bottle until you’re passed airport security. Once you’re past that then you can fill your water bottle and not spend $10 on a 1L bottle of concession water. Another way to stay hydrated is pack water dense snacks, like cucumber or watermelon. Cut up and pack these super hydrating snacks to make sure that you’re not going to bloat like a whale while you’re on the plane.
Tupperware is going to be your best friend while travelling. But it could also be your worst enemy, so here are a few things to keep in mind while buying containers for your snacks and meals:
- LEAK PROOF!! Make sure those lids seal and seal tight! You don’t need food spillage while you’re travelling. It’s a mess, it’s stinky and with no where to clean up you’re pretty much stuck smelling like your lunch the rest of the way. So make sure that there is a rubber seal around the rim and even locks around the edges. Even lids that twist can be a smart choice.
- Plastic Ziplock Baggies- these can be filled with your snacks, disposed of when finished and hardly cost anything. And if you don’t trust your containers, you can always buy baggies big enough to seal up your containers for extra insurance.
- BPA Free- the chemical compound Bisphenol A that lines food and beverage containers, like cans and water bottles. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to possible health effects in the brain, causing behavioral issues in infants and children. So it’s important when choosing water bottles or food containers that they read “BPA-Free”. Even better is choosing containers that are made of glass, rather than plastics.
- Easy Clean-up- when travelling you don’t that the luxury of a dishwasher and so making sure that your Tupperware containers are made of easy to clean material will save you’re a really stinky, sticky headache. Glass or stainless steel containers are easy to wipe down even if you don’t have a scrubby and dish soap with you. Because leaving a dirty tupperware in your car on a hot summer’s day is possibly the worst mistake anyone could make. Trust me, we’ve all been there.
Healthy food choices are all around us, even at the airport. We just need to stop using travelling as an excuse to grab the candy coated peanuts rather than the protein shake we had already packed in our purse.
Grocery Store- pre washed, pre packed broccoli, carrots, sweet potato & butternut squash, hardboiled eggs (yes, you can get hard boiled eggs peeled at the grocery store), unsalted nuts and seeds, pink sea salt, even travel sized packs individual packs of peanut butter, tuna, etc.
Starbucks/Tim Horton’s- Low Fat egg sandwiches, Justin’s almond butter packs, “protein” pre packed snacks, wraps, etc.
There really isn’t an excuse for not following your meal plan while you travel anymore. You can get pretty darn close to the actual plan with a little but of forethought, education (articles like this one) and planning.
I took a little Birthday vacation to British Columbia, and did a little Pre trip shopping so that I could do my best to stay on track throughout my 5hour flight.