Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…..about Eating Right While Traveling

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, our holiday travels will involve lots of meals in restaurants.  Do you have any advice on how to “eat right” under those conditions?

A: First of all, I wish you a safe journey, with lots of fun included. It is much harder to “eat right” when away from home.  As you probably have noticed, many restaurants serve very large portions.  If you will be staying places where you can refrigerate leftovers and microwave them for later snacking, you can ask your server for “half to go,” dividing and packaging half your meal before it reaches you, with all that temptation to clean your entire plate.

However, your travels might make it impractical to take away leftovers. Ask your travel companions if they would like to share an entree. Many restaurants will accommodate this request.

While planning your travel, plan to pack some snacks so that you won’t be extremely hungry when you sit down to your restaurant meal.  Almonds are a good choice – easy to pack and healthy, too. Raisins are another option, especially because they come in tiny boxes for those on the go.  Fruit is healthy, but sometimes a bit messier. Snacking every three hours may help you eat right and avoid filling up on bread before your meal arrives at your table in the restaurant.

Nutritionists tell us that the “ideal meal” would be a plate filled halfway Pedometer.Com Eat Right while traveling Portion Platewith fruits and/or vegetables, with the other half divided between protein (meat, poultry, fish) and starches (potatoes, rice, noodles).  Avoid fried foods as much as possible. Drink water rather than caloric soft drinks.  If you are at a restaurant buffet, take small samples of the foods you like the most.  Consider making a lighter meal out of just appetizers. You can eat right in restaurants if you plan ahead.

You may have heard me say, “You cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.” However, do plan to “move more” even while traveling.  If traveling by car, stop at highway rest stops and walk around a bit, and do the same after restaurant meals.  You will feel better (and be a safer driver).  Traveling by airplane makes it more difficult to safely get up and move around, but it’s possible.

Save calorie splurges until you reach your destination and may want to indulge in homemade, once-a-year food specialties.