Having just returned to Singapore from an amazing, yet whirlwind trip home to attend a wedding and visit friends and family, it has reminded me just how difficult it can be to stick to your healthy lifestyle whilst travelling.
We all have great intentions when we travel but let’s admit it, how many of us never remove our trainers from the suitcase? How many of us drink more alcohol than we do water? And how many of us eat more than our usual daily calorie intake at the buffet breakfast alone? Even dietitians are guilty of the above.
Travelling is one of life’s great pleasures, and eating amazing food whilst travelling is an even greater pleasure. Sometimes we have to draw the line, however, particularly if we travel on a regular basis or if travel keeps getting in the way of achieving a specific goal.
So next time you travel, keep these simple tips in mind:
1. Write an activity plan before you leave. Make sure your plan is realistic and can slot right in to your itinerary. For example:
- I will go for a walk on the beach 3 days while I’m away
- I will pack a resistance band and do 2 sets of exercises before I shower on 3 mornings that I’m away
- I will walk between the sites rather than taking a cab
2. Plan for indulgences. If you know that eating ice cream is your favourite way to indulge when on holiday, set a plan and stick to it. For example:
- I will only order single scoops of ice cream and will enjoy it on 2 occasions while I’m away
- I know we are going to an amazing restaurant tonight so I will wait and have my treat then
3. Focus on fruit and veg. This is usually a food group that we neglect when we travel.
- Try to eat a piece of fruit at breakfast and carry an apple around in your bag for a snack later in the day
- Aim to fill half of your plate at lunch and dinner with salad or vegetables. This may mean ordering a side dish of salad or asking for extra vegetables.
4. Drink lots of water. By the time you are thirsty, you are often already dehydrated, so try to drink enough to prevent thirst.
- Carry a drink bottle with you
- Drink a glass of water before each meal to help fill a gap
- Alternate alcoholic beverages with water or soda water
- Monitor the colour of your urine. Aim for it to look clear like lemonade rather than yellow like apple juice
5. Enjoy your food. You may be eating foods that are different from what you usually eat at home so make sure you enjoy the experience.
- Try as many new foods as you can
- Savour the flavour of each food by eating mindfully and without distractions
- Eat slowly and discuss the food with your companions so you get out of it as much as you can
6. Forgive yourself. Even if you don’t achieve all the goals you set out to whilst travelling, there will always be a positive.
- Focus on where you went well with your food and activity plan rather than what you didn’t achieve
- Remind yourself that it will be easy to get back on track once you’re back into your routine
- On the plane on the way home, write one new goal you are going to focus on when you return
Have a great trip and let me know below your healthy travel tips.