THE BLOG

8 On-the-Go Food and Travel Tips

07/07/2014 04:54 pm ET | Updated Sep 06, 2014

When you travel your sleep patterns differ, you spending habits change, and your activity level will be out of the ordinary. Doesn't it make sense then, that your eating will also differ? This is your vacation eating, and it's completely different from your normal eating patterns.

I am an avid traveler, and always conscious of maintaining my weight and my eating. From my personal experiences, and the feedback I receive from my clients, I can help you to get the most from your travels. You'll enjoy food without being deprived or bloated, and you will return home without the dreaded weight gain.

As I look at the many souvenirs I've brought back from trips, they bring fond memories of scenery, history, laughs, family, and so much more. The souvenir I don't bring home is extra body weight. Yet when I travel, I eat. I have the memories of Austria's Goulash Soup, Ireland's Shepherd's Pie, Belgium's Belgian Waffles, France's Crepes, Puerto Rico's Chicken and Rice, Italy's Gelato, Spain's Paella, and numerous buffets. Must I continue?

The question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I use vacation travel as an excuse to overeat?" Or, "Am I nervous about eating while on vacation?"

The secret to eating while traveling is to identify the difference between eating and over-eating. Eating is enjoying food. Overeating is when you no longer taste the food. You are stuffed, yet continue to eat.
When I ask clients to prioritize their travel events, eating is never number one; usually it's four or five. Write a list and prioritize the events for your upcoming trip. See where eating fits in, and keep it there.

Then pack these eight eating tips, to take along:

  1. Always peruse food offered and use a rating system, one to ten, ten being best. Enjoy foods you rate six or higher. Everything else is just mediocre to you. Eat only the foods you rate highly.
  2. If you eat every time your companions ask you to try something, you'll gain their weight, too. Eat only what appeals to you, not to the crowd.
  3. You may believe you have no control of what or when you'll eat, especially if you are staying in someone's home. Be in charge of what you choose. Make choices from what's available, and speak up when necessary.
  4. Part of the lasting memory and experience of your trip is the food of the region. While there, taste and enjoy the local cuisine that you desire.
  5. Proteins, fruits, and vegetables are sometimes ignored while traveling, opting for an overload of carbohydrates and sweets. Remember to include foods that nourish your body every day, helping you to eat well throughout the entire trip.
  6. Pack clothes that fit you well, are comfortable, and give you freedom of movement. Don't bring clothes stating, "I'll give up, and eat anything and everything".
  7. Keep your digestive tract moving: avoid being backed up and bloated by drinking plenty of water. Try hot water with lemon.
  8. Drink a glass of water before each alcoholic drink. Quench your thirst and hydrate yourself with water, then enjoy the taste of your chosen drink.

One more tip on how to drink alcohol on vacation: There is much written about choosing alcoholic drinks, from which type of alcohol has the fewest amount of calories, to drink wine in place of fancy sugary drinks. Regardless of which alcoholic beverage you choose, be aware of how it affects your eating. Alcohol will lower your resistance to temptation, causing you to eat more. It really doesn't matter what you choose to drink, as long as you enjoy what you drink and you don't overdo it.

Your vacation will remain more pleasurable when you enjoy your food without being stuffed. You'll sleep better, feel terrific, and be energetic and lively throughout the entire trip.