No matter what kind of diet you’re on, there is really no denying that traveling can challenge your regular eating habits, what with the temptations that abound and just simply the lack of access to your own fridge and local supermarkets. If you are worried about how you’re going to be able to stick with your low-carb diet while you’re jetting off to a new country, fret not. Here are some tips to help you stick with it, no matter how difficult you think it would be:
- Plan ahead
As you are planning your trip, you should also plan how you want to tackle your meals. Are you going to book a room with a kitchen and are you going to prepare your own meals? How close is the place to the grocery? Are you better off eating out with the itinerary you have planned or should you pack some meals ahead? It all depends on what kind of trip you are doing and where, but preparation can truly help save you a headache and also the disappointment. Aside from preparing the logistics, also prepare yourself mentally and keep in mind that the power to succeed lies in your hands especially in the face of temptation. Plan if you want to treat yourself while you are on vacation. You may decide that you want to have two to three “cheat meals” and that’s okay. When indulging in your cheat meals, also do not eat to excess, eat until you are satisfied and put your cheat meals wide apart to avoid throwing off your body and shocking it too much.
- Eat a healthy hearty meal before you leave
This is probably the most basic step. Before you board that plane or take that bus, make sure you’ve eaten a hearty meal that satisfies you greatly. This way, even if it takes you a while to find a suitable place to eat in when you arrive your destination, you don’t feel like stuffing yourself with a greasy burger or sneaking in a piece of chocolate. Aside from battling the hunger pangs, having a healthy, hearty meal will also serve as a precedent for how you want to eat during the trip. It serves as a reminder that you want to keep eating healthy while enjoying the sights of your destination.
- Pack snacks
When we go on vacation, what we eat often becomes of least importance. You’re always off catching the next bus to the next site you want to visit and you forget to eat in the process. The things to do and a long list of places to see can set your meals back sometimes and it is good to always be prepared for when hunger will catch you off guard. As you’re packing your luggage, make sure to pack nuts in tiny snack-size bags with you that can last you the whole trip. Better yet, as soon as you arrive your destination, make a pit stop to the local supermarket and grab yourself some vegetables that you can munch on as you travel.
- Plan plane food ahead of time
Especially useful when going on long haul flights, it is best to check the website of the airline for the food options they serve. Normally, big carriers offer several options that can cater to a person’s nutritional needs. In the event that you may not find an option most suited for you, pack your own food or choose the next best thing instead. As for drinks, always choose water and if you want to indulge in wine, the dry kind would be good on a low carb diet.
- Always eat a hearty breakfast
No matter where you stay while you’re on holiday, it’s always a good idea to eat a hearty breakfast. An omelet filled with mushrooms and vegetables is always a good option if you want to feel satisfied throughout the morning and in some cases even through the early afternoon. Whatever you do, don’t succumb to filling yourself up with breakfast pastries. It is also good to avoid drinking fruit juices, especially the canned ones, as they are loaded with sugar.
- Be a master in eating out
When you are traveling, it is inevitable for you to eat out. Instead of resisting it, mentally prepare yourself to accommodate your diet when eating out. This way, you can be very deliberate about choosing restaurants that can cater to your dietary needs and at the same time allow you to find tasty ones too. The good news is that it is very easy for you nowadays to look at menus online for practically every restaurant. If you haven’t done any of the researching in advance, it is best to select places that have a good selection of meaty entrees. Choose dishes that make use of simple ingredients. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the waiter about food preparation, if you are doubtful of what you want to order. You may also want your meat cooked in either butter or olive oil if that’s an option as well. Great options of simple food to order include steak or fish with salad or sautéed vegetables and soups. More often than not, if you ask politely, carb-laden sides can easily be replaced with salads without charge. So instead of fries, rice or bread, ask if they can change it into a salad instead.
In the end, although traveling may pose a challenge to your dietary habits, it doesn’t give you an excuse to forego your diet completely. Instead of feeling tempted or restricted all the time, remember that going to a new destination exposes you to new cuisines and new recipes that may ultimately end up in your recipe repertoire at home. By being deliberate about the restaurants you choose and also being well-prepared at all times, you will always be able to keep eating low carb even when you are pushed out of your comfort zone. The key is to be prepared both mentally and physically so that you don’t break down and run to the nearest pastry shop!