WHEN YOU THINK of eating on the road, chances are, you probably think of fast food first. But just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to eat foods that will compromise your health.
Making better food choices will have give you healthy body and good energy on-the-go. As athletes know, healthy food and plenty of water sustain your energy levels, fuel your muscles, and help you to recover quickly. The food you eat on the road will serve as your traveling repair kit.
1. Healthy eating starts where you choose to stop
If you choose to stop at the fast-food joint, your will face the limitation with only having fast food. But if you stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods—fruits, bagged carrots, nuts, hummus—or a supermarket that features a salad bar, you quickly expand your choices.
2. Eat frequently, and in smaller amounts
Eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day sends a signal to your brain that the food supply is plentiful, so it’s ok] to burn through those calories quickly.
Limiting your calorie load at a single sitting also gives you lots of energy. Eating too many calories in one meal—even if they’re healthy calories—sends your brain the message that leaner times must be around the corner, so those calories will get stored as fat. Eating too much at one sitting can also make you sluggish and sleepy.
3. Eat lots of of protein
Eating the right amount of complete protein—one containing all the essential amino acids your body needs—for your weight and activity level stabilizes blood sugar (preventing energy lags), improves concentration, and helps you in gaining lean muscle and be strong.
When you need energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a day at the beach, stoke your body with high-quality, lean protein.
4. Pack snacks so you’re not skipping meals
Often when we’re traveling, we don’t have access to food at regular intervals. Or worse, we skip meals so we can have that big piece of chocolate cake later. The problem is, your body responds as if it’s facing a food shortage and your metabolism is disturbed to slow down to prevent you from starving.
To keep your mind and body humming, pack healthy snacks in your car or backpack. Examples are almonds, raw vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and hummus, yogurt and berries, fresh and dried fruit like raisins, hard-boiled eggs, instant healthy beverage and etc.
5. Avoid “feel bad” foods
You know what these are: They’re foods you crave, but leave you feeling sick after you eat them. When you’re on the road, it’s particularly essential to avoid foods that drain your energy and deflate your mood.
Foods to avoid: (1) simple carbohydrates or high glycemic foods, such as fruit juices, sodas, refined grain products, or sugary and starchy snacks; (2) anything deep-fried; (3) nonfat desserts and sweeteners, which are loaded with chemicals that your body can’t easily metabolize; (4) anything partially hydrogenated (this includes non-dairy creamer, Jiffy-style peanut butter, margarine, and most packaged baked goods); (5) excess alcohol; (6) high sodium food such as salted snacks, preserved fruits and etc.
6. Hydrate yourself with lots of water
Yes, water is a food. More than 60% of your body is made up of water. Your body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking plenty of water will flush your body of toxins, keep your skin fresh, and help you eat less. It will also help you avoid travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and junk-food cravings.
Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of pure water.