Traffic jams, flight delays and foreign menus can make travelling a trial, but luckily you can control at least one thing while out and about: the way you feel.
Eating well goes a long way towards fighting jetlag and illness, not to mention weight gain from your holiday. So forget about relying on foods that lack nutrients, like those found at country-town pubs, highway service stations and airports. Here’s how to keep your health on track when travelling.
Preparing for take-off
At the start of your holiday, splurging on food and drink at airport cafes and bars can seem like the perfect pre-flight celebration – but try to resist the temptation to indulge in a larger-than-normal meal just because you’re on holiday. Avoid anything that’s likely to give you indigestion during the flight – think alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks and rich food.
You’ve reached your destination and it’s time to relax – and that usually means relaxing your eating habits, too. Be sure to enjoy the local cuisine while you’re travelling, but watch out for the two main weight-gain traps: buffets and booze. All-you-can-eat buffets are a recipe for disaster, so before you dig in, do a lap to check out all of your options, and fill your plate with salads and veg first, so there’s less room for rich meats and heavy carbs.
Go easy on the alcohol, too. Mixed drinks and cocktails are sky-high in kilojoules, so keep your tipple simple, and aim for at least two alcohol-free days a week.
Once you touch back down and reality sets in, you might be feeling jet-lagged and rundown, making it hard to get back into your regular healthy routine. To rev up your motivation, try writing some health and fitness goals, and make a clear plan that will help you get back on track.
Brooke Longfield is Healthy Food Guide’s Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Exercise Physiologist, BSc (Nutrition) (Hons), BAppSc (Ex&SpSc)