14 Tips to Travel Healthy and Avoid Weight Gain

01/21/2016 05:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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As we start the new year, I keep hearing about how difficult it is getting back into a routine after travel. The "all or nothing" folks out there tend to take vacations as a time to really go "off" the wagon. While I am all for splurges and treats, it saddens me when I hear stories of total sabotage, even if you do not realize it is happening. Why work so hard when you are home to eat right, exercise and take care of yourself and then take so many steps back on holiday?

Even though we just ended the "holiday" season, I thought I would write some support now to plant a seed for your next trip. How can you enjoy time away and still stay (at least somewhat?) on track?

  1. Bring snacks -- Have some go to snacks in your bag at all times so you never get in too much trouble. Remember, being hangry never makes for fun holiday time. And if you wait too log between meals, your metabolism will not work in your favor and you will overeat at your next meal. Pre-portioned packages of nuts, fresh fruit, cut up veggies, whole wheat crackers, jerky and bars made of real, clean ingredients like nuts, dried fruits and spices are usually the best bets for non perishable. If you are not traveling far, a sandwich or some yogurt could be a good on the go snack.

  • Keep meal times consistent, especially that mid afternoon meal. When traveling we often miss our meal timing and go into dinner starving which usually gets us in trouble. Stay mindful during the mid afternoon.
  • Say yes... and say no. Often on vacation we say yes to everything because "why not -- we are on vacation!" or because we are with people that we feel we have to say yes to everything. I highly encourage you to say "yes" when you want to and I accept there are times you have to, but say "no" too! Stick up for yourself and do what you want. And find some moderation while on holiday.
  • Drink water. We often feel hungry and crave sweets when all we actually need is some water. And airplanes and hotel rooms are usually very dehydrating. Bring a water bottle with you and drink up!
  • Be a planner. If you can, plan the day you want. Do what feels right for you. Fit in a workout, or go to a restaurant where everything is not fried, or plan a stress free fun filled day that is ideal for you.
  • Where can you walk? Get those steps in! Often just walking throughout the holiday is a way to keep your weight under control. So plan your trip around walking to have fun and get your exercise in.
  • How can you be active? Can you use the hotel gym? Or is there a workout class you can fit in to your schedule? Or go on a hike or bike ride or activity so you are active while on vacation?
  • Order smart. Be strategic in your ordering. Find your vegetables, non fried foods, leaner proteins and whole grains. Be a little high maintenance when you can and order what will work for you and your plan.
  • Find some buddies. Do you have a family member, coworker or friend on your trip who can support you? Get a buddy so you can eat right and exercise. Reach out to them before the trip if you can to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
  • Visualize yourself moving forward and not back -- don't assume you are going to gain 10 pounds. See yourself coming back lighter!
  • Have fun while being healthy! It is often considered a "downer" to eat healthy and workout on a trip. I don't totally relate to this one but I know this is a truth. So find ways to see eating right, being active, not sabotaging yourself as FUN! Imagine that?
  • Put yourself first. Eat how you want, be active, live your life so you see the results you want. I know this isn't always possible on trips since so much is out of your control, but when you can, go for it!
  • Savor the splurges. Of course there will be treats, sweets and splurges. Enjoy each bite, each moment and savor it.
  • Alcohol Alcohol Alcohol -- Of course you are going to drink, and I have yet to tell someone to stop drinking to lose weight, but I am certain everyone can drink less. So, do not drink just to drink -- the calories add up!
  • Travel well! And healthily! And Have FUN!