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The Road is a Hungry Place

(Food for Thought)

It’ s easy to maintain your eating habits when you’re at home in your comfort zone, but as soon as you leave your zip code the chances of straying from your meal plan are at least twice as high.

While traveling we all fall victim to our location, you’re held hostage by whatever type of food, or lack thereof you may find; and as we all know if you’re hungry enough, “health” goes out the window and you’ll eat whatever is available.

Remember, a restaurant’s main objective is to try to get you to patronize their establishment again and again, thus making the restaurant more profit. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s the American way. However, their main objective might not always match your main objective, especially if yours is to lose weight. One little trick restaurants use to get us to fall in love with their cooking is to add lots of sugar, salt and fat to their food.

It isn’t always realistic to eat completely clean while on vacation, but if you’re interested in avoiding the guilt and consequences from overdoing it, here are a few simple tips:

1.) Eat Salads. No one ever got fat from eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I know it might seem a little boring, but even a basic salad will still provide you with some nutrients and minerals.

If you know you’ll need more food, you can always add steak or chicken to your salad. You can also order an entrée for a second course, but the advantage of eating a salad first is that your mixed salad should fill your stomach with enough fiber that you might just be full enough to eat only half your burger or steak. (Just be careful with the dressing, as there might be as many as 30 grams of fat covering your veggies.)

2.) Drink plenty of water. Have you had at least 100 oz of water for the day? Especially if you’ve flown to your destination, or are spending time at an altitude higher than you’re used to, you’re going to feel dry mouthed and hungrier than usual. Humans feel the need to eat whenever we’re dehydrated, so start your day off with at least a third of your requirements of water before you put in a single piece of food. This way you’ve given yourself the feeling of a full stomach before you ever get hungry. It’s like hitting your sales quota before your first day of work even starts.

3.) Pack snacks. Everyone gets hungry, but the smart ones have an insurance policy ready when hunger strikes. If you pack snacks while traveling you’ll save a substantial amount of money as well as ensuring you don’t make a stupid mistake because your hunger pains drove you to junk-food. We recommend traveling with a few pieces of fruit, a bag of almonds and a few Clif Builder bars. Sometimes you’ll find that you won’t even eat all the snacks you’ve packed, however knowing you have healthy food ready will help you to pass temptation by.

Vacations are an opportunity to relax and enjoy doing whatever it is you enjoy doing without the stressors of everyday life. Just be sure to prepare for the obstacles of finding healthy food; you’re far more likely to enjoy your holidays if you don’t have to worry about working off the 10 pounds you gained from eating the wrong things.

Written by Lindsey Crouch and Daniel Crouch, True Balance Health and Wellness
Personal Trainer & Wellness Guide.

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