Alright, let’s all be honest: Traveling and eating right doesn’t usually happen. Whether we’re flying out for fun or hitting the road for work, trying to stick to those healthy habits cultivated at home can be tough.
Maybe it’s the stress/excitement of trekking somewhere new or the lack of options when you’re on the road, but for some reason as soon as our luggage is dragging behind us, we’ve all got a serious case of the #treatyoself attitude when it comes to food. And that’s known to (along with the eventual long-term effects of a poor diet) lead to feeling rundown, unfocused, and moody (which is no way you want to spend your vacation or attend a work conference).
But it doesn’t have to be like that. There’s a bunch of different ways to make sure you nourish yourself properly on your next trip, without having to sacrifice sampling the taste of a foreign land or deliciousness of a regional specialty. Because what’s the point of traveling without trying the culinary fare?
1.) Remind Yourself to Indulge in Moderation
Really, this is the big eating sin when we travel. Everyone just chucks all willpower to the wind because “I’m traveling!” and overindulges. One way to make sure you don’t go overboard in trying local cuisine is to create a simple reminder that you’ll see everyday while you’re away. Whether it’s a message on your phone or a note on the nightstand, seeing the words, “Remember to eat healthy portions” (or another cue that’s positive, not restrictive or negative) can go a long way.
2.) Bring a Water Bottle
It’s kind of shocking how much of a game changer having your own water bottle around can be. Staying hydrated has been proven to prevent overeating AND it’s the better alternative to a sugary soda when you’re thirsty (which will also save you money). Just be sure to refill it from a reliable water source (especially in certain foreign countries). Oh, and know how to ask, “Where’s the bathroom?” for wherever you’re visiting. It’s the one downside of drinking lots of H20.
3.) Carry Healthy Snacks
Like having a water bottle, keeping wholesome treats on you can do a lot for your travel diet. They’ll give you something to graze on if you’re hungry and there’s nothing but fried fast food around, AND it’ll keep you from spending money on marked-up junk-food at the airport. No one wants or should have to pay five dollars for Doritos.
4.) Eat Fresh & Local
Staying away from processed and packaged food is a big part of eating healthy—they’re often loaded with an abundance of non-nutritious calories. So dining in restaurants that makes fresh meals, especially those made from local sources, is a good idea. It’s also a cool way to try to the local food. Why fly all the way to France and just eat a greasy cheeseburger? Just be sure to do a little research beforehand to see if you should stay away from your destination’s raw fruits and veggies (so you can order them cooked, preferably sreamed).
5.) Get Groceries
Dining out is an essential travel experience. But making your own meal every now and then during your trip, along with having some snacks on hand for munching, is a solid trick to sticking to healthy food. Hitting the grocery store is also a great way to find out what the locals like to eat. You may not feel brave enough to try anything like fermented herring or pickled pig’s feet, but feel free to get adventurous at the supermarket!
6.) Track What You Eat
Yeah, we know keeping a record of your food may seem a bit anal retentive, but it’s a proven technique to eating right. A lot of people like to use a calorie tracking app on their phones, but it can be as simple as writing your meals down in a notepad at the end of each day. Whatever you use (even if it’s pics on your Instagram account) as long you’re able to look back at what you’ve eaten, you’ll be less likely to feel the need to overeat.
Got a tip or trick we didn’t cover that you like to use to eat healthy while traveling? Let us know in the comments section below!