If you’re preparing to go on a trip, whether for business or pleasure, you’re probably busy preparing the essentials you need to take with you, booking your hotel room, purchasing travel insurance, and planning to explore your destination. All of these steps are important to ensure your trip goes smoothly, but they are not the only concerns you should have.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even while traveling, must be a top priority in your mind. It can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips to help you avoid putting on those extra pounds during your trip.
How to stay healthy while traveling?
If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, you know how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle during vacations. The show’s contestants face this reality almost every season. But with the right advice, you can make sure that your travels won’t squander your New Year’s resolutions.
Pack a snack: These days, traveling is almost synonymous with waiting. You wait because of delays. You wait because of cancellations. You wait because of long flights. The stress of waiting is not only aggravating, but it can trigger your body’s stress hormones and make you crave sugar and high-calorie foods. At times like these, it’s easy to go to the airport food court and grab a cinnamon bun, cheeseburger, or muffin, or ask for an extra bag of peanuts while you’re in the air. However, these types of foods can cause your blood glucose and insulin levels to rise, stimulating your body to store fat.
In these situations, your best option is to get healthy, travel-friendly foods that are packaged and ready to take with you in your carry-on luggage. Some crackers and tuna fish, beef jerky, a bag of almonds, or even a sandwich can keep you from eating those high-calorie snacks, sweet and salty, at the airport.
Drink water: Many people don’t realize that the air inside an airplane is arid and can lead to dehydration. However, with less than 10% humidity, the air you breathe is drier than the Sahara Desert. This causes fatigue, which in turn makes you want to eat. To prevent dehydration and avoid using your travel insurance health coverage upon landing, start drinking as soon as you board the plane. But avoid soft drinks and alcohol, and stick to water or 1% milk. This will make you feel fuller and prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Exercise: It isn’t easy to exercise on vacation or a business trip, but it’s an essential part of staying healthy. For your convenience, make sure the hotel you are staying in has a gym. Plan to work out every day, and if you want an extra boost, hire a personal trainer. You will be less likely to give up training and will learn new ways to exercise. If you’re going to spend less time in the gym and more time with your colleagues or family, consider avoiding cabs or buses and walking to each destination.
Swimming: If you forgot to check if the hotel has a gym or if their “state-of-the-art gym” is just a tiny room with a treadmill, take the time to jump in the pool. Even if it’s not big enough to allow you to do laps, you can always go for a dip. Just 15 minutes of this exercise is enough to burn 200 calories for an 180-pound man.
Alcohol: Your plan for this year was to lose weight, not stop drinking, right? What if I told you that those four or five drinks you usually have on a Friday night could be the equivalent of the calories of an 8-ounce steak and a slice of cheesecake? Depending on what you drink, that could be true. If you’re going to drink, pay attention to the amount and type of your drink. Light beers, a Tom Collins, and a Bloody Mary are excellent choices, with less than 130 calories per piece. However, the amount you drink is still essential. Not only will you be adding extra empty calories, but your willpower will be compromised, and you may order that cheesecake.
Room Service: Room service is so convenient. But what do you do when you’re looking at a mountain of exotic food choices? More than likely, you’ll choose something terrible for you. The best way to use room service is to never look at the menu at all. Call and order meals that you would typically eat at home, such as grilled salmon or chicken, grilled shrimp, steamed vegetables, and salads. Chances are the hotel will have no problem preparing these dishes for you, and you won’t feel guilty about not following your diet.
Do your shopping: Let’s face it, the mini-bar in your hotel room is tempting but extremely expensive. It is also filled with high-calorie snacks. Create your mini-bar by shopping at local food markets and farmers’ markets. Not only will you be able to experience some of the cultures of your destination, but you’ll also be able to get healthy choices for midnight cravings.