While gaining weight during vacation seems inevitable, there are realistic ways to combat this travel curse.
1. Watch your calories.
When traveling, we tend to buy quick meals from airports, commuting stations, and convenience stores. These packed lunches and snacks are not as harmless as they look. According to Weight Watchers, “the average airline meal has 1,054 calories.” As for coffee shop favorites like frappes and sandwiches, you’ll be surprised to know how high their calories go. To keep track of your caloric intake while on the go, download apps such as My Fitness Pal or Calorie Count. Also see if the place you’re visiting is compatible with apps such as HealthyOut and Restaurant Nutrition, which help you find healthy eateries near you.
2. Bring a water bottle.
Packing your own reusable bottle will not only encourage you to drink more water instead of calorie-laden sweet drinks, but also make you an eco-friendly traveler. Less purchases of bottled water means less carbon footprint.
3. Prepare DIY meals.
Plan ahead by booking accommodations with a kitchen and mini fridge. That way you can whip up healthy meals instead of constantly dining out or ordering fast food deliveries. Taking trips to the local grocery or market is also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the new spot you’re visiting. But because dining out is part of the fun of traveling, don’t completely deprive yourself. Molly Morgan, author of The Skinny Rules, suggests whipping up your own breakfasts and lunches in your place, and then going for the occasional dinner out.
4. Pack snacks.
Even if your hotel room doesn’t come with a fridge, there are many healthy snacks you can pack. Fill travel-sized Ziploc bags or plastic containers with your favorite nuts, seeds, cereals, crackers, granola bars, or trail mixes. Purchase single-serve packs of peanut butter or easy-open canned fruits. This will not only keep you from mindlessly buying junk food while on the go; it will also save you money.
5. Avoid buffets.
Buffets are the biggest culprits of travel weight gain. We tend to eat more than we can handle because we want “to get our money’s worth.” An average trip buffet dinner is 2,000+ whopping calories! When traveling, dine in places where you can eat just enough for yourself. If you really can’t avoid your friend’s buffet invitation, avoid the carb fillers—trays of generic bread, noodles, and rice. Go for the buffet’s protein specialties, such as grilled seafood and barbequed meats. Don’t forget your veggies!
Food portions in first world countries are double what we’ve grown accustomed to in the Philippines. That doesn’t mean your appetite should double or triple as well, CGs! Split your meals with a travel buddy to save you money and calories. If you’re a solo traveler, ask the restaurant to pack half of your order in a takeout box. Save the other half for your next meal.
Having an R&R state of mind doesn’t mean going completely sloth. Whether you’re on a cruise, a month-long tour, or just a weekend out of the town, you can incorporate exercise cheats into your itinerary. Click here for tips.