In less than a month, we will celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season will be in full swing. Along with parties, shopping, gift-wrapping and baking, you might be traveling out of town to visit relatives and friends.
You have been following a good nutrition plan all year and love the results you have been seeing but worry how are you going to stay on it while out of town? Traveling is one of the “hurdles” we all need to learn to navigate to make change sustainable. Today, we will explore ways you can travel and continue achieving your health and wellness goals.
Before you hit the road, sit down and create a plan. Just like you review the route on a map or a flight itinerary, think of where you may stop or can purchase food that fits closely with your plan. Today, there are many restaurant chains offering healthy options. A general rule of thumb is to have two fast food, one medium priced and one high-end restaurant in mind. These could be the very same you already frequent at home. If they are new to you, go online and review the menus in advance so you know what to order before arriving. Secondly, have healthy snacks available in the car or in your carry for when you need them. Protein bars, baggies of nuts and dried fruit or beef jerky are great examples. If you have a plan and snacks ready, you will avoid the pitfall of having to make choices on the fly which can weaken your willpower reserve.
Whether you will be staying in a rental house or hotel your location is key. Once you have chosen where you will be staying, go online and locate the nearest grocery stores and area restaurants. Again, if you are unfamiliar or would like to try a new restaurant, do your research. Most rental properties have the basics in their kitchens. If you have any specific questions, email or call to ask. You can plan ahead what meals you will make and create a grocery list before you arrive. Hotels present more of a problem but look for ones that offer small refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms. Several hotel chains offer breakfast as a part of the room price so ask what food will be available. You might have breakfast covered and then you can purchase bottled water, sliced chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables to have on hand for your other meals. Lastly, there are apps that will search areas of interest like “grocery stores” and you can search “hotels” nearby so you can be within walking distance in case you don’t want to rent a car.
In the event you are staying with family or friends, having control over what you will have to eat could be a bit more challenging. You were probably taught to be a gracious guest and eat what you are given but there is nothing wrong with sharing your new lifestyle in advance with them. Most people want to be supportive and helpful especially after seeing the changes in you. Offer to cook meals together and share new healthy recipes.
Holidays are meant to be shared with others. Enjoy visiting those you don’t get to see very often but stay on track by having a plan. When faced with a choice that isn’t ideal, don’t give up or stress about it. All you have to do is remember these three key habits. Stick to your portion sizes, eat slowly (15 mins) and eat until you are 80% full. Good nutrition should fit into your life and be sustainable not just for when things are perfect.