5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

The holiday season is traditionally vacation time, and you'll likely be traveling with family or friends, or even on your own. But being away from home on a welcome respite doesn’t mean your daily routine of eating nutritious meals and snacks and getting regular exercise should take a break too! This may seem all but impossible when you contemplate the sugary, starchy, high-fat foods at the airport, train station, or roadside stop, not to mention the vacation-time luxury of sleeping in and lounging around for hours at a time. But all is not lost! Fortunately, with some advance planning and preparation, you can stay on track with your weight-loss goals and still enjoy your getaway. Before you venture off, add these tips to your travel checklist:

  1. Fuel up on a healthy meal before you leave. If you eat a wholesome and satisfying meal before you start your trip, you’ll be less tempted to buy a bag of potato chips or a candy bar at the airport or hit up a drive-thru window for a burger and fries. If you’re traveling in the morning, prepare a hearty on-the-go breakfast, like our Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Cups (all Phases), which are a healthy alternative to the “egg muffin” sandwiches you can find at fast-food restaurants. If you’re leaving in the afternoon or evening, enjoy a salad or sandwich at home, like our California Turkey Salad with Fresh Tomato-Lime Dressing (all Phases) or this Poached Chicken Sandwich with Lemon-Caper Mayo (Phase 2 and beyond).


  2. Pack South Beach Diet-friendly foods. As much fun as it is to travel, getting from place to place can sometimes be a drag when you're hungry. A tiring or stressful journey could set off emotional eating triggers and cause you to reach for a comforting triple-scoop ice cream cone or a bag of cookies against your better judgment. If you expect to be traveling for long periods of time, be sure to bring your own food for the car, train, or plane. When possible, pack a cooler with a South Beach Diet-friendly lunch and healthy, satisfying snacks to eat along the way. No time to prepare a meal or snack? No worries — stock up on South Beach Diet Meal Bars, 100-Calorie Snack Bars, Good to Go Bars, and/or Protein Fit Bars to have on hand when hunger strikes.


  3. Don’t skip meals and snacks. It’s no big surprise that traveling can easily play havoc with your eating plan, but it’s important to stay on schedule and not miss any of your meals or snacks. Skipping a meal or snack can leave you hungry and trigger cravings for sugary and starchy carbs. Again, pack foods like whole-wheat crackers, reduced-fat cheese, baby carrots, celery sticks, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, nuts, and perhaps some lean reduced-sodium ham or turkey slices, to keep your blood-sugar levels balanced and help stave off hunger.


  4. Make time to exercise. Whether you’re on a road trip, hanging poolside, or cruising in the Caribbean, be sure to squeeze in a workout when you can. Most major hotels and many motel chains have gyms equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, weights, and/or a pool. Cruiselines offer workout rooms and classes and often a walking track on an upper deck as well. If there are no gym facilities where you’re vacationing, simply head outside and take a walk around the neighborhood, if it’s safe. You can also climb the hotel stairs or exercise in your room (just bring portable exercise bands or your own workout DVDs).


  5. Be choosy when dining out. If there’s a time to be picky with your meals, it’s when you’re on vacation. There are plenty of restaurants that serve South Beach Diet–friendly meals. When ordering, skip the bread basket, ask to have salad dressings and sauces on the side, opt for grilled, sautéed, or baked items over fried foods; substitute steamed vegetables for white potatoes or white rice; and ask if the chef would be willing to prepare your meal without butter, using extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil instead. On Phase 1, drink water, seltzer, diet soda or tonic, tomato juice, or a vegetable juice blend. On Phase 2, you can also enjoy a glass of red or white wine, or a light beer or a cocktail made without a sugary mixer. Apply these same tips when ordering room service. And do enjoy dessert — you’re on vacation after all! Use our Three-Bite Rule (take three bites of a decadent dessert and share the rest with your table mates). You’ll come home as trim and fit as when you left.

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Jennifer K.

Jennifer K. Lost 110 lbs with The South Beach Diet!

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