From your Bariatric Nutrition Team

Summertime is vacation time for many people, and even the most mindful eaters can be challenged when trying to follow a healthy diet while traveling.

When we travel, our environment changes. That means our habits can change too. Many things can throw us off balance – time zone changes, food availability, new and exciting food choices. Airport layovers can be an opportunity to grab something to eat, and then you may be offered more food on the plane. Traveling by car can expose you to numerous fast food and chain restaurants where healthy options may be limited. Don’t let your impulses or unfamiliar surroundings get the better of you.

Think about what you can do to maintain good habits while you are away from home. Here’s how you can increase your chances of making smart choices:

  • Before eating, check in with yourself to see if you are truly hungry. Avoid eating out of boredom. Determine if you are just thirsty. Dehydration can mask itself as hunger. Try starting with water or a low-calorie beverage.
  • Walk around while waiting for your flight to avoid the temptation of eating just to pass the time. Make sure you have good reading material with you or do crossword puzzles.
  • Take time when eating to notice your surroundings. Focus on enjoying the people you are traveling with. Don’t feel that you must finish what is on your plate.Give yourself a chance to notice if you feel full before your plate is empty.
  • Share a meal with someone or order smaller portions. Remember to eat your protein first, fruits and veggies next and carbohydrates last.
  • Try to plan for where you will be eating. Seek out places with healthy options to help avoid unhealthy temptations.
  • Avoid liquid calories. Smoothies and cocktails can be deceivingly high in sugar and calories.
  • You may have a lot of down time when you travel. Think about this before you travel to plan on how to fill the time. Plan activities and look for places you can walk to and explore. Learn about the people, places, and culture – not just the food.