Step away from the buffet. We repeat: step away from the buffet.
#1: Practice the 80/20 rule
Starting your day with challah French toast piled high with sugared walnuts and caramelized bananas? Fine. But that means no high-fat snack (think: potato chips or cookies) in the afternoon or high-sugar, high-fat dessert after dinner. You don’t want to come feeling bloated or worse, a few pounds heavier then when you left, so aim to make healthy choices 80 percent of the time, leaving the remaining 20 percent to indulge as you please.
#2: Keep it consistent
One of the easiest way quell cravings and keep from overeating on the road? Stick to your regular eating schedule. This means setting an alarm to wake up in time for breakfast, avoiding snacking a few hours before bedtime and eating only when you’re hungry—all tips that will go a long way in keeping your stomach in good health. If you’re traveling across several time zones, it’s also a good idea to use a food diary to keep track of when and how much you’re eating.
#3: Cut the coffee
When you’re fighting jet lag, it can be tempting to lean heavily on coffee or other caffeinated beverages for energy. But as we know, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt your sleeping schedule. So next time you’re traveling and need the energy boost, consider a cup of green tea or adding a few drops of licorice extract to your water, which will combat fatigue and help stave off sugar cravings.
#4: Pack a lunch
We hate to break it to you, but calories do count midair. And while most in-flight menus have healthy options, most selections come packed with sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats. To keep from making unhealthy eating choices on-the-road, we like to bring a packed lunch to the airport. Some nutritious meal might include a salad with protein, whole wheat sandwiches or a chia bowl. Keep in mind TSA’s liquid limit when you pack.
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#5: Keep it clean (your drinking water, that is)
Contaminated drinking water is one of the leading sources of health problems among travelers, so it’s important that you be extra vigilant when traveling to high-risk places like Africa, Asia, Central and South America. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid local tap water and to seek out bottled water when it’s available. Water purification tablets and water filters are other good options.
#6: Do your homework
Nothing kills a vacation buzz more than coming down with a case of Montezuma’s Revenge or another bacterial strain like it. So next time you hit the road, know the risks associated with the food in the place you’re headed. Some classic no-no’s: unwashed, uncooked fruits and vegetables in Mexico, unpasteurized milk products in some countries in Europe, and processed, packaged meats in Asia.
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#7: Take your vitamins
Despite our best efforts, our wellness takes a hit when we travel. To make up for nutritional deficiencies, we recommend packing some essential, immune-boosting vitamins like acidophilus, vitamin C and a general multivitamin — plus, supplements tailored to your trip. For instance, if you’re traveling on a business trip during which you’ll have to spend long, tiring days indoors, stock up on Vitamin D and Magnesium. Traveling with the in-laws? You’ll want a B Complex and Vitamin A to help combat the stress.
#8: Eat (or drink!) your greens
You’re not alone if you struggle to meet the recommended daily quota of 5-9 fruits and vegetables on a day-to-day basis, let alone when you’re traveling. But find a way to incorporate powdered greens into your diet, and you’ll never feel compelled to order the spring salad in an authentic Korean BBQ joint ever again (we’re speaking from personal experience if you couldn’t tell). Amazing Grass makes a powdered green formula that is as palatable as a powdered green powder can be.
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#9: Ease up on the booze
We know, we know. You’re on vacation and you want—no, you deserve— that extra glass of red. Well, we’re here to give you the green light to proceed. No, really. Just take our advice, and keep the boozing within reason. That means no more than 2 drinks per meal, no heavy drinking on the plane, and no calorie and sugar-packed mixed-drinks like frozen margs and piña coladas. Sorry!
#10: Practice portion control
We get it—you’re on vacation and you want to treat yourself, and by all means, you can and should. Just don’t give yourself the carte blanche to overindulge. So, buffets, bottomless brunches and all-you-can-eats? – they’re out. Same goes for activities that encourage hour-long indulgence (think: swim-up bars and 9-course tasting menus).