Don't let your trip derail your diet and exercise plans
By Shannon James
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Advance Planning Will Improve Travel Health
Whether you're headed home for the holidays, taking off on a long-planned vacation, or traveling for business, being on the road can wreak havoc with the best-laid eating and exercise plans. Is it possible to stick to your diet and fitness program -- or at least avoid gaining weight -- while you travel? Experts say the answer is yes, but your chances for maintaining good health while you travel will improve with a little advance planning.
Fern Reis, chief executive officer of the branding company Expertizing.com, has developed a system for eating healthy when on the road. She travels with Ziploc bags of raw vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, and a jar of peanut butter.
"Not only does this keep me on my diet, but it also protects me from starvation (or more likely, overeating) when delays occur on airplanes," says Reis. "It's not that difficult to stick to your diet when you're in a restaurant at a time when you're supposed to be eating; it's those, 'Oh, my God, it's 3 p.m. and I'm starving because I'm still on this airplane! that kill you."
Kathy McCabe, editor and publisher of the travel newsletter Dream of Italy, has developed her own tricks for sticking to her diet in what she calls "the land of carbs."
"It's hard to fight off packing on the pounds in Italy," says McCabe. Following the Italian way of living -- no snacking and lots of walking -- helps, but McCabe has also taken to bringing a box or two of bran bars with her.
"They have lots of nutrients and fiber, so I'll have one with my morning coffee instead of having a roll or pastry as the Italians do, or I'll have one as a snack," she says.
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