How to travel without bringing home extra pounds

Dr. Angela Seabright
Carly Getz

| 3 min read

Healthy travel
With one billion tourists, 2012 was a record breaking year for international tourism. Each day, the world becomes more connected. For many of us, travel has become a frequent part of our life.
No matter what the occasion – conference, wedding, business trip or family vacation – traveling takes us away from our stocked kitchen and gym routine and somehow makes us feel entitled to abnormally large portions and skipped workouts. After all, it’s vacation! Unfortunately, weight put on in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. So how can we avoid bringing home extra pounds every time we leave town?
Drink water: Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, all your body really wants is more water. Not only can drinking water before meals help fill you up so you eat smaller portions, but it can also boost your body’s ability to burn fat. Every time you get the urge to grab a high-calorie drink or what I like to refer to as a “boredom snack,” those snacks you only eat because you have nothing better to do while waiting for your flight, reach for a water instead. This simple swap will make a huge difference on your body during vacation.
Pack snacks: Having snacks on hand helps avoid temptation to grab expensive and typically unhealthy meals offered in the airport, at a rest stop, or in the hotel. For ideas, check out these seven healthy snacks or healthy snacks to keep in your car. Traveling with kids? Try these 25 healthy, kid-friendly snacks that won’t pack on the pounds.
Choose restaurants wisely: Look up restaurant menus before making your selection to ensure there are healthy options. If you’re crunched for time and fast food seems to be your only option, learn how to make healthier choices at fast food restaurants.
Control your portions: We all know that restaurant portions in America tend to be oversized. Of America’s chain restaurant entrees, 96 percent fall outside the range of the USDA’s recommendations for fat, saturated fat and sodium per meal. At restaurants, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Skip the entrée and order a soup and salad. Split a dish. Order a smaller portion. Start your meal with water. Try to incorporate fiber into every meal to keep you feeling full for much longer.
Plan to exercise: If you don’t build activity into your travel plans, it’s not going to happen. Consider starting your days out with a walk to explore the area. Be sure to pack workout clothes and tennis shoes and check if your hotel has a fitness center or pool. If there’s no gym, try this 30-minute hotel workout in your room.
How do you stay healthy when you travel?
Photo Credit: Tonya Staab

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.