6 ways to eat healthy while traveling
Traveling is enjoyable, but it can also be stressful–especially if your nutrition clients are looking to improve their eating habits. Here are some ways to help your clients stay on track and eat healthy while traveling.
It’s a well-known fact that a healthy lifestyle is easier to stick to while at home. But if a work trip pops up or a vacation gets booked, it can be easy to put those healthy habits on the back burner and pick them back up once the dust settles.
As a nutrition professional, it’s important to work with your clients to instill healthy living habits that last far beyond your sessions. While fixating on a meal plan isn’t always feasible while your client is away, you can still encourage them to make better choices when it comes to food. From snacking better to sharing entrees, here are some ways you can help your clients nourish their bodies and eat healthy while traveling.
One of the most difficult parts of travel is the lack of a normal routine and inconsistent mealtimes. While it can be tempting to reach for processed foods (that are rich in saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugar) to fill the void, you can encourage your clients to fill up on other portable snacks that have more nutritional value.
Healthy foods like nuts, jerky, and dried fruits are great options, as they are easy to stash in a backpack and will keep in a wide range of temperatures. Not only do they travel well, but they can also add important nutrients to your client’s diet when it may be lacking in overall quality.
Tip: check out this article to learn more about helping your clients break up with added sugar.
Take advantage of produce
It may be difficult for your clients to eat fresh fruit or vegetables at every meal, but you can encourage them to take advantage of the times that product is available.
For instance, smoothies, wraps, or green juices are all ways for your clients to eat healthily and fill up with more nutrient-dense vegetables while on the go. Moreover, fresh or dried fruit can be added to oatmeal or yogurt bowls, paired with nuts for a homemade trail mix, or incorporated into a salad.
Bring a reusable water bottle
Travel presents a lot of challenges including dehydration, and it is especially easy to get behind on water consumption. To combat this, encourage your client to bring a reusable water bottle to help them stay hydrated, and to choose water at mealtimes.
If you want further information on how much water your clients should drink, check out our article and download our useful guide.
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Encourage your client to scout out restaurants in the area they’re staying to get an idea of what’s around. This will give them a chance to look over menus, choose a healthy meal, and make better nutritional choices. You can also encourage your clients to not go to a restaurant on an empty stomach, as this may lead to overeating and having them feel too full.
Share a plate
Oftentimes, restaurants have significantly larger serving sizes, but since they are served on one plate, it can be easy to overeat. To help your clients combat this, you can encourage them to share an entree with someone at the table or to package up half the meal to enjoy as leftovers the following day.
In addition to sharing a plate, you can also raise awareness of the caloric count of certain menu items. While counting calories doesn’t work for everyone, it can be helpful to mention this to your clients if they are interested in keeping track of how much food they are consuming.
In the US, restaurants will often have the calorie count listed next to each menu item, which can be helpful if your client is wanting to be more conscious of their food intake. However, you don’t want to encourage unhealthy eating behaviors, so only mention this if you feel that it won’t harm your client’s relationship with food.
Stay somewhere with kitchen amenities
Kitchen amenities can be another important factor if your client is trying to eat healthy while traveling. Many hotels offer a microwave and/or mini refrigerator, so encourage your clients to make the most of those appliances by purchasing a few grocery items to have for breakfast, lunch, or snacks. Easy options include produce (such as berries, apples, bananas, carrots, and broccoli), yogurt, nuts, and whole grain crackers.
Vegetarian options are always a great idea while traveling, since they help your client stay healthy and ingesting a good amount of nutrients. There are a lot of options that can be easily stored and eaten while traveling.
Private rentals are another great option and provide even more eating opportunities as they have a kitchen or kitchenette. This means being able to cook and enjoy meals rather than eating out for every meal.
Traveling can be enjoyable, but often presents a certain set of challenges when it comes to maintaining health and wellness goals. Oftentimes, it can be easy for your clients to grab quick and convenient processed foods while on the go, which means that some of their healthy habits get put on the backburner until they return from being out of town.
As a nutrition professional, you can encourage your clients to make better food choices while traveling. Whether they are on a work trip or enjoying a vacation, you can help them establish habits that will last far beyond your sessions. Choosing better snacks, reaching for more produce, sharing entrees, planning, and having a reusable water bottle will help your clients nourish their bodies and continue to eat healthy while traveling.
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