This is a guest post by the lovely, sassy and seriously in shape Liz D’Alto. A health and fitness expert who helps women find genuine strength, motivation and success.
You’re at the airport or at a rest stop and you’re really hungry. Sound familiar? Most of the time, your focus isn’t on making the healthy choice it’s making the most convenient choice. And to make it worse, there probably are a few healthy options, but they’re hidden amongst the seducing aromas of fast food chains and coffee shops. They practically stand no chance.
But what if you knew better? Making healthy choices while traveling isn’t as hard as you think, but that’s the key-you have to think…and get smart about the choices you make and planning ahead.
Back in my sales days, before becoming a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, I once heard a manager make this comment, “Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Lucky for you, perfection isn’t necessary, you just need to keep these 5 easy tips in mind.
1. Think ahead, pack a snack.
It’s when we’re really hungry that we tend to make the worst decisions because we’re desperate. Having a back up plan like raw and unsalted nuts, a protein bar or a piece of fruit solves that problem. Most “fast food” isn’t good for you. Even if the snack just holds you over until you can find a solid meal-it’s served its purpose-you didn’t walk away with a huge Cinnabon covered in frosting.
2. The golden rule for eating out.
Cut the carbs in 1/2 and double the amount of veggies. Here’s a few examples: order a burger or sandwich, ditch ½ the bun or roll and ask for extra lettuce and tomato.
3. Never opt for “just carb.”
The reason why many people are overweight is because they’re constantly giving their body a reason to release insulin, which does a lot of things in the body to promote fat storing. Easily digestible (read processed and/or mainly derived of white flour or sugar) carbs are a primary trigger for releasing insulin in your body. So, if you have to make a quick decision, make a choice that’s actually real food. Something that grew out of the earth or came from an animal.
4. Water first.
Fairly often we confuse hunger with thirst. Before you over do it because you think you’re starving, drink some water, take a few deep breaths and relax. Then evaluate how hungry you really are.
5. The plate that never fails.
If you find yourself at a meal with colleagues or travel friends, and you have no idea what the best choice to make is, use this rule of thumb: half your plate should always be veggies and/or fruit (the greener the better). The other half should be about a 70/30 split, 70% being lean protein, 30% being carbs (again, preferably real food that grew out of the earth like a sweet potato, beans, or brown rice). If you want dessert or a glass of wine with your meal, skip the starch on the plate and just choose one or the other. Think in terms of “or.” Dessert or alcohol. Bread-basket or dessert. Never both and certainly not all three.
It’s all about making smart choices and taking the time to think. I’m not asking you to eat less food, just better food. Travel is an amazing opportunity, and should not a barrier to your health. Enjoy!
Have specific questions about how to apply these tips to your travel schedule? Leave them in the comments and Liz will be sure to chime in and help you out.