Spring is finally here and summer is around the corner! It’s the time of year when we all begin to feverishly plan day trips and family vacations in order to escape our responsibilities at work and at home. While taking time “away from it all” is beneficial for our mental health, vacations often wreak havoc on diet and exercise habits that you have worked so hard to develop and maintain. Luckily, with a little pre-planning and creativity, you can rise above the salt, sugar and fat-laden foods that may tempt you on your adventures and maintain your physical health while you give your mind a rest. Here are a few tips for how to stay on track with your weight loss program no matter where you go this travel season:

ROAD TRIPS – Don’t be a scavenger, plan ahead.

Bring along shelf-stable snack pairings

  • Starches: Wholegrain crackers and cereals, popcorn (pop it yourself)
  • Healthy Fats: Unsalted nuts, trail mix &/or nut butters
  • Fruits/Veggies: Bananas, apples, oranges, single-serve applesauce, raisins or other dried fruits

Assemble healthy, car-friendly meals

  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread/wrap + fruit + celery sticks
  • Single-serve tuna package with whole wheat crackers + fruit + baby carrots
  • Single-serve hummus with whole wheat pita + fruit + cucumber slices

Drinks can do “double-duty”

  • Frozen water bottles make great ice packs and allow you to have a cold beverage once thawed.

Limit temptation

  • Be mindful of hunger cues and find activities to distract you from compulsive eating when you get bored
  • Keep food out of sight in the car so you will be less tempted to indulge in mindless eating
  • Pre-portion your meals and snacks in accordance with your regular weight loss program

Keep your food safe

  • Pack a cooler with ice to keep perishable foods cold.
  • Pack pre-moistened wipes or hand sanitizer to keep hands clean before/after handling food.

Your Physical Activity Plan

Enjoy your meals al fresco at rest stops along the way. Taking a break will help you avoid overdoing the snacking, and allow you time to squeeze in a stretch or a brisk walk.

AIRPORTS & PLANES – Know your options and fit food into your schedule.

Sticking to your weight loss program while you travel will help you arrive refreshed and comfortable.

Yes, you can take food through security

  • TSA guidelines permit travel with food as along as it is wrapped: think single-serve trail mix, nuts/nut-butters,
    protein bars, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, packs of tuna

Seek out healthy options

  • Look for concourse restaurants that serve light fare: salads, lean chicken breast, deli sandwiches, fruit cups
  • Don’t forget: any food purchased in the airport is permissible on the plane. Even if you aren’t hungry upon boarding, you’ll be ready for a meal later if you have a long flight ahead
  • Keep caffeine low-calorie: choose a black coffee or a latte made with skim milk

Stay hydrated

  • Pick up bottled water once you get through security and take it with you on the plane
  • Drinking sufficient water helps prevent overeating and will help you reduce feeling of jet-lag

Your Physical Activity Plan

Get your steps in before you board the plane by walking the long terminals during layovers rather than sitting.

HOTELS – Limit the number of meals you have to eat out.

Utilize Your Resources

  • Make instant oatmeal in a coffee maker. Here’s how:

Video on how to make oatmeal using a hotel coffee machine. This helps you to stick to your weight loss program while traveling.

  • Request a room with a mini-fridge: stock it with water, cheese sticks, yogurt, hummus, veggies and fruit.

Skip the bagel shop…grab these healthy options at the continental breakfast (you’ll save $$ too!)

  • Nonfat yogurt or milk
  • Hardboiled egg
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Fresh fruit

Your Physical Activity Plan

Most hotels offer a fitness center for guests. Schedule time in the morning or evening to keep up the exercise component of your weight loss program by squeezing in 30 minutes on the treadmill or a strength training workout with free weights. No fitness center? Check out this 7-minute workout that’s simple to complete in your room.