6 ways to stick with your diet when traveling

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Whether you’re heading to tropical locale, backpacking through low country or heading off on a summer road trip, maintaining a healthy diet is likely to fall by the wayside. Who wants to be on a diet when they’re on vacation, anyway? If you’re traveling on business, keeping up with your regular diet could be low on the priority list. Still, you don’t have to bring home a few extra pounds from your trip. I’ve found that making some sound food choices and planning ahead keeps calorie counts low, energy levels high, and also wards off the pounds.

Here are six ways to stick with your diet when traveling:

1. Search menus ahead of time. If you’ve narrowed down the field of choices in restaurants and eateries for your trip, check the venue’s website to look over the menu and pick out some low-fat or low-calorie items. If you’re keeping a close tab on calories these days, contact the restaurant for nutritional information.

2. Skip the buffet line. It’s rare to find healthy eats at the hotel breakfast buffet line and at buffet restaurants. Unless you can track down a salad buffet with some low-cal dressings and low-fat sides, steer clear of buffet dining altogether. Seek out restaurants that serve plated meals and those that offer low-carb or “lite” meals. If all else fails, stick with vegetarian entrees and menu items.

3. Pack some snacks. Protein bars, nuts, granola bars and instant oatmeal packets are a few travel-friendly foods to take along on that next trip. Pack these for those times when healthy food isn’t within easy reach or just to keep your energy levels up during a long day.

4. Prepare your own food. If you’re staying in a hotel suite with a kitchenette or renting a vacation home for an extended stay, plan to make most of your meals during the trip. Eat out once or twice to enjoy some variety, but stick with healthier, home-cooked food when you can.

5. Eat a hearty breakfast. Skimping on meals when traveling will leave you feeling deprived and can make you tired. You need your energy to make it through that busy business trip and to enjoy your leisure vacation. Make sure you’re eating a complete breakfast each morning to get your metabolism going, and to ward off hunger pangs throughout the day.

6. Keep track of your meals and exercise program. Maintaining a food or calorie log sounds like a hassle when traveling, but you have some smartphone apps to help with this one. These five smartphone apps are designed for dieters and fitness enthusiasts who want to keep track of calories and log in exercise time. Keeping track of your food and exercise program may prompt you to make better choices over the course of the trip.

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