I just got back from a long weekend of snowboarding, and I have to tell you, I love traveling, but it got me thinking of how I could maintain the nutritional habits I need for this contest while still enjoying the trip. Traveling and eating correctly isn’t easy. I don’t know about you, but when I’m home and in my normal routine, I find it easy to keep up good nutritional habits. When I’m traveling, not so much. For one, it’s not always convenient to have the right food handy. Second, you’re doing what more often? that’s right – eating out. If you’re on the road (unless you’re camping) then you will be hitting the restaurants. Personally I think that’s part of the fun of traveling. Here are some dining out tips that could be helpful:
1. Don’t go starving. If you normally eat every three to four hours, then try to stay on that schedule. Snack if you need to. Don’t “save up” your appetite. If you do, you’ll over-order. If you would normally have a dinner salad and then a dinner entree, then do the same. You don’t need three appetizers to go with it.
2. Eat your vegetables. This is important whether you’re on the road or at home. Vegetables are filling and keep you from eating too much of the bad stuff. Many places now are health conscious enough to honor your special requests (steamed, not sauteed, etc.)
3. Eat slowly. Take your time and enjoy the meal. Dining out is an experience and should be savored. See if you can identify the different flavors and spices and enjoy them. If you eat slowly enough, you may find out that you no longer have room for seconds or dessert.
4. Avoid the all-you-can-eat places. Seriously, who needs all of that? I personally don’t thing many of these places are that good anyway. In order to make their money they can’t be using the highest quality ingredients (in most cases). I always find myself trying to “get my money’s worth,” and that NEVER turns out well!
5. It’s ok to splurge a little! Yes, if it’s your favorite chop house, get a juicy steak! If you want a dessert, then order a dessert. I personally think it’s better to eat a dessert PORTION at a restaurant than to go home and make a whole dessert then have the rest of it around, because then you will eat it all if you don’t have help. Stick to your rules. Cheat days are cheat days, just make sure they don’t turn into “cheat weeks.”
Eating out should be a fun, social experience, not something to elicit feelings of guilt or remorse later. Just don’t forget your goals and stick to the plan!