When you’re out of your house and your normal routine, it can be challenging to maintain your bariatric goals of eating well, moving regularly, staying hydrated, and taking your vitamins. Traveling may bring up a slew of mini-challenges such as; “Will I have access to healthy foods?,” “How will I move on a regular basis?,” and; “Will others I’m traveling with give me a hard time for staying healthy?” In this week’s blog post, here are some pointers on how to not gain weight while traveling, and tips for staying on track with your goals.
What To Eat On Vacation
When you arrive to your hotel, first start by putting away (or hiding) the unhealthy foods on top of your minibar. If you have some time, go for a walk or swing by a local grocery store to buy some healthy vegetables (pre-cut), plain nuts, protein packs, meat and deli slices, cheese sticks etc. that you can stock in the hotel room mini-fridge instead if there’s room.
Regarding restaurants, scroll the display cases or menus for protein items whenever possible. At breakfast time, you will likely be tempted by all of the carbs (ie: café croissants, bagels, pastries, etc.) However, try to start with a savory breakfast instead of a sweet breakfast to better control carb cravings later in the day. If there is a protein option for breakfast, load up on that first such as eggs with protein (ie: ham, bacon, prosciutto, etc.) and/or greek yogurt. If you have any travel packets of unflavored dissolvable protein powder, you could bring it along with you and mix it into your morning coffee as well for a protein boost.
Juices and smoothies may be available and tempting to have on vacation, but sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of weight gain. These drinks carry a heavy sugar and carb load. If you do decide to order one, prioritize one that has vegetables in it, add a serving of protein, and if it’s a large size- share it with a friend. Talk your drink to-go so you can immediately use up those carbohydrates in your muscles with a nice long walk.
How To Exercise While Traveling
Nothing gets your feet on the pavement faster than the alternative of expensive Uber and Taxi rides! Save some cash and explore your vacation spot by foot. The sights, sounds, and conversations with loved-ones will help the time pass by. You’ll likely surprise yourself by how far- and for how long- you’re capable of walking in a day. If at any point you get tired, or it starts to rain, or your kids start having a meltdown… then hail an Uber to get you to your final destination.
If you have room in your suitcase for sneakers, I would try fitting them in. Most hotels are gyms that you can utilize with cardio and strength training pieces of equipment. Make sure you tour it once you arrive in your hotel! When everyone is back at the hotel room and you need some time to decompress and to relax, consider going down to the gym to bike for 15 minutes. Better yet- throw your bathing suit on and check out the hotel pool if they have one! There’s no better way to cool off, relieve your tired joints and feet from walking all day, than by splashing around in the pool with your family.
Ensuring you move your body on a daily basis is one of the best ways to not gain weight while traveling.
How To Reduce Stress On Vacation
Traveling for work or with family/ friends can sometimes be….well, stressful! However, having a quick breathing technique on the back-burner is the quickest and easiest way to keep myself grounded, cool, and collected. You can also coach your anxiety and stress down from a heated moment by asking yourself; “In the scheme of life… is this that serious?” Usually the answer is always “no” which can help you move on from it.
Getting yourself out in the sunshine and away from a dark and clustered hotel room does wonders for your mind. There’s nothing more refreshing than walking the sidewalks with others as you explore a city, and spending a few minutes in a local park to just sit on the grass and take everything in.
If you’re completely wiped from the day, but don’t have a chance to take a nap in a quiet hotel room, grab a book instead and find a cozy spot in the main lobby of the hotel to read it in peace and quiet. Or, put your headphones in and load up an audiobook, Podcast, or calming music and sit outside on your patio for a few minutes to mentally “reset.”
Whenever you can, prioritize catching up on sleep while on vacation. Coming home from vacation rested and restored can do wonders on your mental health, motivation to “get back into the swing of things again,” and to dive back into family or work duties.
When it comes to traveling, it may not look exactly like what you’re used to with your home routine, but you can still stay consistent on your health goal(s) by being intentional with what you’re eating, how you’re moving, and how you’re managing your mindset.
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