Getting ready to travel? Don’t worry how you are going to stay on that NEW diet. This is definitely the time to throw the word diet out the window. When traveling abroad or just going on vacation, it’s best to maintain weight rather than try to lose weight. For one, you do not want the stress of dieting to take away from the experience of travel or some much needed R&R. Stress can actually contribute to weight gain so allow yourself to become completely immersed in the experience of travel and relax to help release any stressors you may be carrying with you. Don’t deprive yourself of that liberating feeling by stressing about a diet. But also, on the flip side- don’t allow your vacation to sabotage the attempts you have made towards weight loss at home. Do not view vacation as a free ticket to eat in excess because that will only bring along feelings of guilt, stress and failure. Focus on your experiences. And know that once you begin to enjoy healthy food, you begin to crave healthy food. And it will become second nature to eat when you are hungry, just enough and choose foods that are healthy. But if you are not yet to that point, bring along these tips in your suitcase.
1. Stay hydrated. It is important to note that drier air can contribute to dehydration which can make you feel fatigued and more likely to eat. Especially in flight, the air inside the cabin is kept at a very low humidity. So drink fluids throughout flight and throughout your travels especially if the humidity will be low. Water is sufficient to ensure you are hydrated. Alcohol can accelerate the chance of dehydration as can caffeine in high doses.
2. Choose healthy snacks if most of your meals are going to be eaten out in restaurants. Snacking on fruit, vegetables, nuts, and yogurt will contribute fewer calories at the end of the day than snacking on candy bars or donuts and pastries. Having a mid-afternoon snack will help prevent overindulging at dinner. Check out local markets to pick up fresh and seasonal produce.
3. Enjoy meals out but also make healthy food selections and watch portion sizes. The most enjoyable bites when tasting food are the first few which dwindle with each bite thereafter. So that being said, enjoy the decadent cuisines your destination may be known for. Just don’t indulge to the point of feeling overly stuffed every time you eat because that will contribute to weight gain. Offset the rich, decadent entree with lighter side items or even choose to split entrees. If you ate a rich breakfast, go lighter for lunch and dinner or vice versa. Include more grilled/baked, simply prepared dishes than fried heavily sauced dishes. A piece of fried meat or fish will contribute significantly more calories than the same piece baked, broiled or grilled.
4. Restart your weight loss efforts when you return home. And in place of a strict weight loss diet, make a visit with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who can provide expert weight management guidance without restrictive dieting.
Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto (Nirvana Press 2012.). She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition and her M.A. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit: www.lisastollmanrd.com