Caffeine is a great natural stimulant, it’s more or less…
By Theresa Brawner
Traveling is one of the most fantastic experiences that one can live through, but it can also be pretty stressful at times; long hours on transit, planes, public transportation and more often than not there’s nothing good to eat while we’re waiting to get to our destination. So, when we finally do, the first thing most of us want is to stuff our face with something salty, greasy and satisfying.
This is partially due to hunger, but it’s also due to our brains being bored and craving the dopamine that eating these foods will inevitably release. Be that as it may, however, it’s sometimes pretty difficult to stick to a healthy diet when traveling.
Today, I want to talk about seven easy ways to make this whole thing a bit easier, so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight or ruining your health while on vacation.
- Drink Lots of Water
Water is one of the best solvents in the world, which means that it’s very good at dissolving almost any chemical compound. What that means is that drinking more water can help expel all sorts of toxins from our bodies and leave us feeling refreshed and full of energy.
Additionally, drinking water is a great way to suppress cravings from time to time, and often when we crave food we aren’t really hungry at all – we’re just dehydrated and thirsty, and if you don’t drink water on a regular basis, your body is going to try and find it where it usually gets it – the food that you eat.
- Bring Your Own Plane Food
Plane meals are somewhat of a variable these days; they can be pretty awesome at times, and at other times all you get is a stale sandwich that’s not really that nutritious. For this reason, I highly recommend that you bring your own food to eat while on the plane, especially if it’s a long flight. I even find that plane food can sometimes upset my stomach, leading to issues such as bloatedness or constipation, which is definitely something you want to avoid while you’re traveling.
- Eat Local Food
A great rule of thumb when traveling to a foreign country is to eat what the locals eat. Chances are that since they’ve been living there for the majority of their lives, they know their way around the food and what’s good. Just walk up to a local and ask them where you can grab a bite to eat, and chances are that they’ll point you in the right direction.
- Have a Lot of Small Meals
In order to prevent the really bad cravings and keep yourself from overeating, I highly recommend that you carry your food with you at all times, and eat a bit of it whenever you feel hungry. This will make sure that you’re full of energy at all times instead of having nasty crashes where you just have to take a break and get something to eat.
- Stack Up On Protein
One of the easiest ways to prevent cravings is to make sure you’re feeling full for long periods of time, and that can easily be done by eating a lot of protein during your trip. Protein is found not only in meat, but also in beans, lentils, and all sorts of nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Make sure you eat lots of these foods and you’ll be able to keep your energy levels up and not crave as much junk food as you usually would.
- Avoid Simple Carbs
Simple sugars are a great way to get an instant boost of energy that makes you feel good for a short amount of time, but soon after you’ll find yourself experiencing a rather nasty sugar crash and craving another similar high. For this reason, it’s best to avoid processed foods that are full of sugar and sweet fruits while you’re traveling. These foods also coincidentally contain a lot of extra calories, so it’s really best to avoid them altogether.
While you might be inclined to visit a fast food joint the minute you get off your flight, I highly recommend against it, as you really don’t know what you’re putting into your body when eating at such a place, especially abroad. What I suggest instead is that you find the nearest supermarket and find some kind of instant meal or something that you can eat on the go. Even a hummus sandwich or something like that can be much more nutritious and better for you than some deep-fried potatoes at a local Burger King. While it might not seem like the more tasty option, it’s definitely a healthier one, and that’s what this is all about.
Well, that’s about all the advice I have for you today. I hope that it’ll prove to be useful the next time you’re on a trip, as I know that it certainly does the trick for me. Stay fit and healthy!
Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st. in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.