Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. A good meal can brighten up a bad day, social gatherings often provide food as a necessity and icebreaker, and ‘comfort foods’ even come with psychological benefits..
Food is a big part of traveling as well. It’s a great introduction to a country and its culture. Indulging in the local cuisine is definitely on the to-do list of most travelers.
Counting calories, surviving on lettuce and exercising are not may not be on this list.
So how can you balance eating healthy with traveling?
At this point, let me clarify that I’m not a certified nutrition and exercise expert. I have however struggled with my weight for a very, very long time. I generally try to live a healthy lifestyle, exercise often and eat as clean as possible.
I also love food and I try not to think of calories whilst traveling.
I ate multiple servings of French fries in Belgium, Crepes in France, and am writing this after having a 3-hour brunch at London’s Covent Garden.
In fact, I spent last May eating my way through Singapore, and loved every calorie of it.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the gym hours I had to put in to compensate for that month.
But the food?
Here are 5 things that have worked well for me so far:
1. Manage your expectations
It’s incredibly important to have realistic expectations as to how healthy you’ll be able to eat on the road. Eating and drinking is a vital component of traveling, and I would never recommend counting calories and obsessing over weight gain whilst on at trip.
Stressing out over gaining weight will not only make your trip less enjoyable — it will also cause you to miss out on the joy of trying out a new cuisine.
So let’s start by acknowledging that you wont’ maintain a perfect diet when traveling.
It’s far more likely that you will gain some weight whilst traveling, and that’s ok.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the changes on the scale, but please do not sabotage your trip by overthinking and attempting to control things that are out of your hands.
2. Take a walking tour.
I’m a big fan of walking tours, –they are lots of fun and an easy way to see the main sights in a city in a short period of time. Walking tours are also a great way to add some physical activity into your city break.
Exercise and Sightseeing?
It’s a Win-win deal!
3. Go on an active adventure.
If you enjoy exercising and you live an active lifestyle then you would probably enjoy a more active trip. Climb Mountain Kilimanjaro? Canoeing? Hiking? Cycling? The list is endless. I greatly enjoyed taking a day hikes when I visited Yogyakarta in Indonesia and walking the tour of Mont Blank is on my personal travel list.
4. Cook some of your meals.
Eating out is definitely fun and I certainly wouldn’t recommend wasting your travel time over a hot stove trying to boil pasta.
Eating out every night however can be taxing on your waistline and stomach.
If you are travelling for long periods of time or feel tired of eating out every day, then you could cook some of your meals.
Cooking a healthy dinner or breakfast a few times in your trip can save you some calories and help stretch your budget. Most hostels provide a kitchen and utensils whilst you should have access to a kitchen if you are renting a flat on your trip.
5. Drink lots of water.
We all know that water is an important element of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Ensuring that you are well hydrated is important, especially if you go on a walking tour or spend your days outdoors in the heat. It’s always a good idea to carry a small bottle of water with you. It may be a bit tiring to carry it around with you but you will feel even more tired when thirsty.
Do you have any other tips on eating healthy when traveling? How do you stay healthy on the road? Do visit wanderingislander.com and let me know!