When you’re on the move and away from your own domestic set-up, it can be easy to fall into bad or lazy eating habits. This is something I’ve struggled with massively over the past couple of years. You might end up not eating regularly enough (literally never a problem for me) or eating more junk food than you usually would (different countries have amazing sweets!). This is OK for a short trip, because, well, you gotta treat yourself every so often! BUT if you’re on the move for a longer period of time, poor eating will have a negative and more long-lasting effect. Over the past few months I’ve been trying to correct all the over-eating and lack of exercise that’s been a part of my life ever since I started travel blogging. I’ve discovered that healthy eating while travelling is perfectly possible; you just have to follow these tips.
How to Eat Healthy While Travelling
1. Little and Often
Even though you may not always end up eating as much as you might at home, a lot of people still find that they put on weight when travelling (myself included). This could be because you’re not eating regularly enough so, when you do, your body adopts a bit of a siege mentality and slows down your metabolism to hold onto the calories when you do consume them. To avoid this, eat smaller amounts of healthy foods at regular intervals in the day so that the brain knows that food is in plentiful supply and won’t send your body into calorie-collecting starvation mode. By eating smaller amounts at each sitting, you’ll also avoid the sluggish feeling you get when you’re digesting a big meal. This will allow you to feel more energetic and get the most out of each day.
2. Carry Healthy Snacks
One of the problems of being on the move is that you may miss regular mealtimes and end up skipping them, simply because you’re not near a restaurant or café when it’s time to eat. This is easily solved with a bit of forward planning and purchasing. Make sure that you always have some healthy snacks with you to tide you over to the next proper meal. There is nothing worse than being stuck on a night bus across Thailand with not enough sustenance, or up the top of a mountain after a grueling hike with nothing to give you a bit of energy for the hike back down. Even carrying something as simple as a bag of almonds or your preferred nut with save you getting hangry. Another snack food that can sit at the bottom of your backpack until you need it are those raw bars – basically packed with dried fruit and crushed nuts. They tend to have fairly long expiration dates so you don’t need to worry about them.
3. Keep Meals as Healthy as Possible
It’s all too easy to end up eating at fast-food places when you’re travelling. It’s easy to head into that familiar coffee shop or chain restaurant. But that’s not what travelling is about. You need to try the local food as much as possible. It may end up being the case that you might not be able to eat at regular mealtimes when on a trip. Maybe you’ve arrived to your AirBnB late at night and the local restaurants are closed and you haven’t stocked up your kitchen yet. The appearance of delivery companies like www.deliveroo.ie , or whichever local company serves the country you’re travelling through (Jumia Food in Rwanda is UNREAL), means you don’t need to miss out on local cuisine. You can do as locals do and order a takeaway. Obviously this isn’t something you should do every night, but it’s perfect for when you arrive after a late flight. Plus, you can read all the menus and choose the healthiest option for you. A takeaway doesn’t have to be unhealthy.
4. Drink up!
And we’re not talking about the beers here! Something that’s easy to do when travelling is to become dehydrated. Some travellers tend to drink less for practical reasons, like they don’t know where they’ll next be able to find a toilet. I’m one of those travellers. At home, I drink COPIOUS amounts of water. But the minute I know I have to get a night bus or a long taxi ride or anything like that, I cut out all liquids. My bladder is the size of a pea. BUT this is really bad for my healthy. Staying hydrated helps your body to function properly; even soft drinks companies like Coca-Cola recommend drinking lots of water! Not drinking enough will lead to problems such as headaches and make you more susceptible to the effects of being in the sun. Water helps your body flush out toxins and it will keep your skin looking fresh. Make sure that you carry a couple of water bottles and refill them whenever you get the chance.
5. Cook When You Can
The easiest way to eat healthy while travelling is to cook for yourself. If you’re staying in a hostel or an apartment then this is relatively easy. Hostels have communal kitchens and apartments will have their own. Pick up a few fresh ingredients from the local market or supermarket and whip yourself up a home-cooked meal. That way you have control over exactly what you’re eating. If you were at home you wouldn’t be eating out in restaurants every night, so why should you when you’re on holiday?? If you’re not domestically-gifted then maybe bring a friend along on the trip with you who has some culinary skills, or try a cooking class in the country you’re visiting. Thailand, France and Italy and all popular places for cooking courses.
You may not be able to take your own fridge and cooking facilities when you’re travelling but that doesn’t mean healthy eating needs to be put on hold. Eat well while on the move and you’ll reap the benefits.
Have you got any tips for healthy eating while travelling?
Let me know in the comments!
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