Growing up, family vacations were all about camping & hiking. Memories of jogging at the campsites with our dad, hiking and then one of our favorite parts…the marshmallows. Our mom would make a chili over the campfire and we’d each get one large marshmallow for dessert, and we chose not to roast it over the fire because we wanted it to last, so we’d lick it and savor it (yep, as ridiculous as it was, we enjoyed every minute of it! 🙂 ) And Lyssie’s lasted an hour, Tammy’s…only 45 minutes! (This answer varies depending which twin you ask ;))
Nowadays, it seems that vacations mean there are so many tempting, unhealthy dinner options, roadside food choices, dessert options and we aren’t limited to one large marshmallow or a healthy bowl of chili. Here’s how we keep sweets (and other foods) from getting the best of us when we travel–we talk LIVE about how you can make traveling and staying on the healthy track easy!
Here’s what we do (and see below for more!):
We talk LIVE on QineticLive here:
Easy Ways to Prevent Weight Gain When You Travel
Most people fall off track when it comes to their healthy eating and exercise plan when they travel. They come back home and feel relaxed and sometimes it feels a bit daunting to get back on track (we hear ya, we’ve been there before, too and now know how to prevent this (phew!!). The secret is to not completely go off track when you’re on the road. Although it sounds difficult, it’s easier than you think and we can guarantee that you won’t regret it. (We’ve never looked back! 🙂 )
It just takes a little preparation– and although it takes a little time, you will be grateful that you did it!
Step 1: Identify your downfall. Think about your vacation and what is the hardest for you when it comes to eating healthfully? Being so busy all day and then getting to dinner starving and completely overdoing it? Or grabbing unhealthy food on the road? Drinking too much? Overindulging in desserts? All of these things? When you prevent them from happening, you don’t gain weight, it’s that easy! 🙂
Step 2: Strategize. If you determined that your downfall is that you are starving when you get to dinner and you can’t turn down the basket of bread, the fatty appetizers, the beverages and everything else that comes your way, then to stay on track, pack healthy snacks. Keep them with you so that you don’t end up skipping meals during the day only to overeat at night.
Tammy’s biggest issue is not having a snack when she’s out. Then dinner turns into a disaster (with a capital D!), So here’s what she now does:
A few words from Tammy describing what she does: I prep and cut up peppers and put them in zip-locs. And I make large bags that will serve as a snack and last several days (I know it sounds a bit extreme, but I love the peppers, they’re my thing!). These are from my trip to South Beach (where I will remain with Scott, my husband, and my 8-year-old twins, Summer and Riley, for the rest of the week—woot, woot!)
If I’m staying at a hotel I call in advance and request a refrigerator. I even bring apples if I think I may not be able to have easy access to produce when I travel (yep, I even brought them to South Beach [as pictured above] knowing I could get apples here, but I wasn’t sure if they’d have the organic ones I like! 🙂 ) Having these snacks before heading to dinner saves me from being ravenous and overeating. And there’s really no downside, well except for the fact that my peppers once set my luggage over the 50-pound limit! I just moved them to my pocketbook—catastrophe diverted! 🙂
To see what else I’m doing and see some of the other foods I’m eating, follow us on Instagram: https://instagram.com/nutritiontwins/
A few words from Lyssie describing what she does: For me, there are two things I need to make sure I travel with–otherwise I’ll crave something sweet too often.
1) A healthy high-fiber carbohydrate –it keeps me feeling satisfied and prevents constipation (I’m just sayin’…I know, it’s a bit graphic, but if you’ve ever experienced it [and who hasn’t?], you know how awful it feels and how uncomfortable it feels to have a distended stomach and bloat that accompanies it! I find that at restaurants they typically serve a lot of “white” bread and grains that are low in fiber, so I travel with Fiber Love Bars (they satisfy my sweet tooth craving and give me the carbs I need!). I can pass on the carb at dinner and know I can have one of these in my room.
2) I really need to have a portable protein–most of my favorites that I eat at home need to stay cool so when I travel it’s a whole new realm–without protein, I get overly hungry. I travel with some of the options in blue (below).
Items that travel well, are satisfying or help to tide you over (protein is great for staying power and to keep you satisfied, and is especially great when paired with a high-fiber source of carbohydrates for energy). Items that I use for protein are noted in BLUE. Great sources of fiber-filled carbohydrates are noted in RED. I mix the two for longer lasting energy and satiety (give it a try—it really works!).
- 100 Calorie or pre-portioned bags of nuts
- Pre-portioned peanut butter packets
- Tuna and salmon packets
- Fruit and nut bars* that are less than 200 calories (Lara bar, KIND, etc, Fiber d’Lish bars–with this one, if you’re having it to tide you over, you’ll have to add some protein with it, like a teaspoon of peanut butter)
- Pre-portioned vegetables (if you can keep them refrigerated)
- Apples (you can dip them in your peanut butter if you’re looking for some staying power 😉 )
- Protein-powder packet (although this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, (or shall we say not everyone’s cup of protein) it helps to kill two birds with one stone–1) you mix it with water so it helps you to stay hydrated, boosting energy & preventing you from mistaking thirst for hunger 2) and it’s a light-weight, non-perishable protein on-the-go that you can take to help keep you satisfied
* Note: most fruit and nut bars have both carbohydrate and protein. YAY!
Other easy tips to prevent travel weight gain:
Bring a water bottle! Don’t forget this one! It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. You end up eating when you really just need to hydrate. If you find yourself getting parched and feeling dehydrated and exhausted from all of the activities, your “fix” is simple. Pack your water bottle and bring it with you. Add a little lime, lemon or buy a bottle of seltzer!
- There are many kinds of water bottles–some with filters, fruit infusion bottles, etc.
Heading to the beach?
Prevent overeating at dinner or on junk food by packing a meal. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the easiest, portable meal that will prevent you from overeating chips, cookies or other foods that don’t fill you but pack in the calories. If you have a cooler, pack a turkey or chicken sandwich, or pick up a salad from a salad bar with chicken. If you can, even pack veggies like baby carrots and snow peas to snack on. You’ll prevent weight gain by avoiding unhealthy choices!
Alcohol your issue? Check out some of these strategies or try some of these tips!
And if you are making a cocktail try this 60 calorie Sinfully Thin Mint Sangria!
Or try this Fruity Tooty Spritzer!
Overindulging in sweets at the restaurant your issue?
If you find your issue is overindulging at restaurants desserts even when you don’t love them, keep a small pre-portioned treat in your hotel. This way, you can forgo ordering dessert and know you can have your dessert in the hotel room if you want when you get back. You’ll avoid the temptation of having a large dessert in front of you, or you can taste the dessert, and if it’s not amazing, you can have just a bite and have the treat in your hotel room instead. You may get back and decide you don’t need anything after all–and if you do, it won’t break the calorie bank.
Exercise: Even if you can’t do your usual exercise routine, simply plan 5 minutes at the start of your day to do a strengthening exercise -whether planks, push-ups, squats etc. Try some of these! It will feel good to get the blood flowing and maintain some strength. Even if you aren’t doing your usual exercise, try to make activity part of the routine–walking on the beach, swimming, paddle-boarding, etc. This is something that we really make an effort to do—we feel so much better after we do it!
…And when traveling during the day or to a friend’s house, try to stick to somewhat of your usual behaviors. If you know they won’t have a lot of your healthy food choices in their home, either bring some with you or go food shopping when you arrive. If you’re afraid of offending your friend, try to keep a few non-perishables in your suitcase so you can have a small portion of their less healthy options and escape to your room for a minute to have something a little healthier. And for those days on the beach, bring a cooler to the beach, pack your lunch–a salad with chicken or a turkey sandwich and fruit.