Photo credit: Greens and vegetables in store via photopin (license)
Taking in new sights, sounds, and smells is relaxing and joyful, and often leads one to feel as if indulgence is the name of the game. However, indulgence can be too much of a good thing. If you plan to travel soon, consider these reasons to stick to your healthy eating habits.
1. It’s Better for Your Body
The most obvious reason to eat healthy even when you are on vacation is because it’s better for your body. When you eat too many foods that are high in fat, carbohydrates, or calories, you risk feeling more winded and even causing problems to your heart. Of course, this won’t happen in just one trip, but if you are a frequent traveler who often leaves your healthy eating habits at home, you could be doing harm, even if you stay on track 100 percent of the time in your everyday life.
2. It Keeps You From Gaining Weight
Everyone’s weight fluctuates up and down by a few pounds, but frequent travelers who often eat unhealthy meals may find their weight continues to move upward instead of going back down after a time. Weight gain is known to lead to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and even joint and back pain, and even if you don’t feel any of the symptoms, your wallet is likely to feel them as you find your clothes are no longer fitting as well as they used to.
3. It Helps You Stay on Track
Ask anyone who tries to live a healthy lifestyle. Staying on track is hard, even if you do the same thing every day. When you add a vacation into the mix, things get even trickier. You may tell yourself that you can eat whatever you want while you’re at the beach or on a road trip, and you probably even believe you’ll get back on track as soon as you get home.
Unfortunately, this is rarely a reality. The longer you stay off track, the harder it is to get back to your fruits and vegetables. Some people have trouble if they go off plan for even one meal, so avoid the risk altogether by sticking to your plan while you travel.
4. You May Save Money
You’ve probably heard that healthier food is more expensive, especially in restaurants, but there is another way to look at it. If you decide to allow yourself to eat any treat you want while you’re on vacation, you may feel the need to fit a dozen desserts into one five-day trip. Depending on where you stay, prices could already be higher. If you give in to every craving, you’re likely to spend quite a lot of money in a small amount of time. By sticking to your plan, you will be more likely to stick to your budget as well.
5. You Will Have More Energy
Desserts and other foods that are high in carbohydrates and calories often leave you feeling as if you’re in a “food coma” after you eat. The result is a lack of energy to do the things you want to do while you’re on vacation. Instead of surfing in the ocean, you may find yourself napping by the pool—if you aren’t too tired to make it there. By eating healthy foods that are high in protein, you’ll have more energy for hiking, sightseeing, or taking the kids on an adventure.
6. You Will Have a Sense of Accomplishment
Sticking to your diet is hard enough, so imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you manage to do it through an entire vacation. If you are worried you’ll cave at the first sign of cake, consider giving yourself a reward such as a new outfit or a night out with friends if you get home without “cheating” on your plan.
How to Do It
Bring your own snacks with you, carry a water bottle everywhere you go, and if you plan to eat in restaurants, look at their menus and nutrition information ahead of time to choose the healthiest option. You may even consider bringing your own dessert. Hampton Creek sells a range of cookie doughs that are gluten-free, dairy-free, totally healthy, and very tasty. Bake some cookies to bring with you, or if you prefer, you can even eat their dough right out of the jar.
Above all else, remember you’re human. If you do slip up and have something unhealthy, you aren’t a failure. Don’t allow the rest of the rest of the trip stay off track. Get back to your plan with the next meal you eat.