But it’s possible to eat mostly healthy food even while you’re on the road or at the beach this summer.
Laura Newton, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), offers these 10 suggestions:
Plan ahead: “Choose foods to take in the car, eat before arriving at the airport and consider the options available upon arrival at the destination,” Newton said in a UAB news release this week.
Keep it on ice: Put a cooler in the car and pack it with such healthy treats as fruit, yogurt, water, cut-up vegetables and sandwiches on whole-grain bread.
Eat this, not that: Make the best food choices you can when you’re on the road. At convenience stores, go for yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit cups or nuts (which are good in moderation.) At burger joints, the most simply prepared items are the healthiest choices, according to Newton. She suggests a plain hamburger with lettuce and tomatoes or a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes. You can also hold the mayo and dressing and choose kid-size portions.
Don’t eat out all the time: If possible, rent a hotel room or vacation home with a refrigerator and stock it with good food. “It can be easier to eat healthful meals when cooking yourself,” Newton said.
Moderation, moderation: Try not to miss meals, because this can cause you to overeat at the next meal. “Pack a cooler for the beach and take water, fruit, maybe some nuts and string cheese,” Newton said. “This type of mini-meal is easily portable and can help tide people over until they can have a regular meal.”
Go ahead, be good to yourself: Don’t feel you have to completely give up favorite vacation foods. “You should definitely indulge, but in moderation, maybe one small treat a day or one splurge day during the week,” Newton said. “Ask for a small portion of the regional favorite or order from the appetizer menu.”
Start restaurant meals with salad or veggies: “This will help fill you up so you don’t eat more of a higher-calorie item,” Newton said. “Ask for extra vegetables or substitute another vegetable in place of a starch.”
Search the web: Look online for restaurants in the area you’re visiting. Review the menus in advance and decide what to eat before you go.
Drink lots of water: People often mistake dehydration for hunger, according to Newton.
Stay active! “This doesn’t need to be strenuous exercise, such as running or lifting weights, but do go sightseeing on foot or take a hike, swim in the pool or at the beach,” Newton said.
By: Jesse Chambers