You confuse hunger with thirst and get sugary food cravings or indulge in binge eating. Do you know? Drinking water before every meal cuts the portion size and you end up intaking fewer calories…writes N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Travelling calories don’t count but it’s important to keep yourself in shape. Working out has become more of a lifestyle than any leisure activity. It indeed gets difficult to maintain timely eating habits. But there are always some ways out if you are willing to choose healthily. Dietician and Nutritionist Sakina Mustansir shares few ways to keep a balanced diet:
* Try to eat homemade food/cook your own meal: There is an old saying, “your mood changes when you eat according to the person’s mood who made it.” Even when you cook unhealthy food it becomes healthy when it’s made at home. It’s always convenient to carry food from home rather than eating at roadside vendors or unhygienic food. So, try to cook your own meal wherever possible. Also carry munching snacks like nuts, dried fruits, peanut butter sandwiches or whole wheat/multigrain bread sandwiches, protein bars etc.
* Stay hydrated: No amount of soft drinks or hard drinks will subside the need for water in our body. It’s always recommended to be hydrated. Research shows when you are dehydrated it results in forced hunger cravings. You confuse hunger with thirst and get sugary food cravings or indulge in binge eating. Do you know? Drinking water before every meal cuts the portion size and you end up intaking fewer calories.
* Don’t skip or avoid breakfast: Most people skip breakfasts on the trip which makes them more lethargic which enables them to follow healthy eating patterns. If you eat a healthy breakfast your body fills up the nutrients and proteins it requires for the day and starves the carvings off. Buffet breakfast is a trap, don’t indulge in overeating either. Cater to the energy your body needs at the moment. While travelling, never skip breakfast. Always aim for a good healthy breakfast so as to avoid hunger pangs and binging on unhealthy snacks later during the day. Also carry some uncut fruits or boiled eggs or chickpeas from the breakfast table for later, to keep you energetic for the exploration.
* Avoid alcohol or sugary beverages: The calories in beverages are more reactive as compared to the calories in solid food. Being on a vacation doesn’t mean your liver is on a vacation as well. Cutting on calories or alcohol fat is more difficult than cutting down the vacation fat. Avoid sodas if that’s convenient.
* Local cuisine: Usually the most authentic local cuisine also happens to be the healthiest. So while travelling, always try the country’s authentic cuisine rather than fast food joints and processed foods. This will not only keep you healthy and give you more energy to explore but you will have an opportunity to taste different cuisines and experience their culture.
* Don’t stress about treats: Give yourself a break, don’t keep a count on everything you eat. You always end up eating more if you stress about what you eat all the time. Having a healthy relationship with what you eat is important. Plenty of vegetables are healthier than you are aware of.
Any weight you gain while you travel is most likely to be water retention or constipation. You are most likely to reduce this in a span of one week when you’re back to your lifestyle. Be diligent with your exercise or walks while travelling.