We all know about the “Freshman 15” — that dreaded 15 pounds most first year college students gain after being away from home for the first time. Well I’d like to coin a new phrase, the “Traveler’s 5” – and I’m not talking about five pounds of souvenirs you’ve packed in your luggage! It can be quite stressful getting out of your natural routine. When we are stressed we sometimes run for comfort food to ease our anxiety. Furthermore, junk food is super convenient when you’re a stranger in a strange land. You need your wits about you while traveling and eating unhealthy will just slow you down. So here are some tips to keep you on track:
- Fill up before you head out: Eat a nice healthy meal while still at home before you leave for your travels. Something nourishing and filling like eggs, oatmeal, chicken, fish or pasta. If you’re nice and balanced on the inside you’re more likely to be nice and balanced on the outside.
- 2. Have Snacks, Will Travel: Pack snacks to take with you. If you have a little bag of almonds in your purse/backpack that you can nibble on, you are less susceptible to turning into a ravenous monster that can’t resist the closest vending machine or fast food joint. According to The US Department of Health and Human Services, it is best to eat often (5 to 6 small meals a day).
- 3. Stay hydrated: Preferably water. You need to be on your game when on the go and sodas and alcohol may calm you down but they will also make you loopy, making it ten times harder to deal with connecting flights and foreign tongues. Your best bet is to keep a water bottle with you that way you don’t have to wait around to be served. You’re likely to drink more often if it’s right there all the time. You also don’t want to get stuck paying $9 for a bottle of water in your hotel mini fridge.
- Savvy Traveler Seeks Mini Fridge: Speaking of mini-fridges, It’ll make life easier and cheaper if you can bring food with you on your trip and have a place to keep it cold. Fresh food is the healthiest food you can eat. Seek out hotels that have mini refrigerators in the room (ones that don’t require $50 to open, that is). If you’re on a road trip, you can purchase a great little mini fridge for your car. They run anywhere from $50 to $100. It’s a great investment if you are a frequent traveler.
- 5. Make it part of the adventure: When you’re settling for fast food on your trip, you’re missing out on all the great little restaurants you have never been to before. Talk to the locals about the places to eat. You can even research before you go on your trip about the best restaurants in the area. Local hole in the walls can prove some of the best food and charming scenery around.
For many people, traveling isn’t even a choice; it’s a must. Be sure to pay close attention to your eating habits just like you do at home. Avoid fast food joints as an easy solution. You can have delicious, healthy food on the go, you just need to think ahead. If you’re smart and plan ahead, it will make all the difference in the world. Happy, healthy trails to you all!
- USDA, US Department of Health and Human Services. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Advisory Report).
- Pollitt E, Matthew R. Breakfast and cognition: an integrative summary. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998; 67(Suppl.): 804S–13S.
- MayoClinic.com; Healthy Breakfast; February 2011
Author: Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops. She also writes for Beachbody, which provides everything you need to stay fit from popular workout videos including P90X2 workouts and Pump Workout to the Beachbody Ultimate Reset cleanse.