Eating healthy is easier when you have a daily routine and stick to it 80% of the time. A lot of healthy, fit people tend to eat the same kinds of meals at about the same time of the day, every day, most days of the week. They also tend to exercise at about the same time frame, again – about 80% of the time.
The 80/20 rule works! Have a plan of eating healthy and exercising and plan to stick to it 80% of the time. Dance outside the box 20% of the time and enjoy that 20%. There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence, as long as it is the right kind.
THE CURVE BALL – TRAVELING
Making healthy food choices on vacation or when traveling for work is difficult but not impossible. Maintaining healthy habits while traveling will help you feel your best and further enjoy your leisure time. Plus – you won’t be bloated or tired when you return. It’s about creating balance and planning to make the right decisions. Check out these practical tips:
- PREPARATION IS VITAL
If you try looking for something nutritious and satisfying in an airport, all you end up finding are overpriced fast food. While there are some healthy options with grilled chicken, adding fries and a soda may be tempting. Consider packing your snacks to avoid the lines, the temptation and potential bad decisions made in a moment of fatigue and feeling rushed. Plan and pack some of these in your travel bag:
- Dried Fruits like dried mango (look for versions with no added sugar or oil)
- Rice Cakes, Popcorn or Snack Bars
- Nuts, Homemade Trail Mix
- Fresh Fruit
- Cheese (high in fat and protein and very satisfying)
- Cut Veggies (carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, celery)
- Jerky (high in protein and keeps you feeling full)
- HEALTHY EATING STARTS WHERE YOU STOP THE CAR
When traveling in the car, it’s all about where you stop along the way for food. If you keep stopping at fast food joints, your food choices will be limited and unhealthy. How about stopping at a grocery store instead? You can get a good walk around to stretch your legs out while finding an array of healthy food choices. It’s likely nowadays that you’ll find a salad bar at many supermarkets, which can quickly reduce your junk-food temptations.
- Say no to “FEEL BAD FOODS.”
Everyone has those moments where they crave an unhealthy snack. The moment you succumb to the temptation and eat the bite, it leaves you feeling depleted or sick, especially if you usually don’t eat foods like that (i.e…sugar, dairy, gluten, excess alcohol). When on the road, you need to keep off foods that leave you with an awful mood after you eat them. Plan ahead to know what your trigger temptation foods are and search for specific feel-GOOD treats instead.
- Step up to THREE meals A DAy
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner: a simple routine to maintain. Make sure you stick to square meals even when you are traveling. Most travelers like skipping lunch so that they have a buffet in the evening. If you want to stay lean or cut some weight when moving, do not skip meals!
- Have to snack? Then LIMIT YOUR PORTIONS
The ideal snack is 200 calories or less and should include a fruit, vegetable, whole grain, or lean protein. Avoid processed foods like baked goods, candy, and chips. Find a satisfying snack bar (Lara, One, Quest to name a few good choices) or sliced veggies and hummus.
- Drink water
You’ll feel better, look better, and have more energy. Alcohol is tempting during travel, but it also can disrupt your appetite signals and dehydrate you, making you eat food even when you aren’t hungry. It also can affect your sleep quality.
- Be easy on yourself and enjoy the 20%
Eating healthy while traveling is achievable. Make healthy choices 80% of the time and enjoy the 20% dance outside the box. Have fun and enjoy the fun in being healthy. Feeling good and looking great are a big part of a fun life, fun vacation, and fun business trip.