Avoiding Fat Traps During Summer Travel!

Time spent in cars, campers, planes and hotels can compromise all the hard work and sacrifices you have made preparing for summer. Here are a few tips to consider when traveling on the road.
People train vigorously through the winter and spring preparing for the summer season. June 21 will be the first official day of summer, which kicks-off a period of travel and leisure for many families and individuals. It feels great when your perseverance and tenacity in training translates into a lean and healthy body. Unfortunately, time spent in cars, campers, planes and hotels can compromise all the hard work and sacrifices you have made preparing for summer. With a few considerations for summertime travel, you can still have a great time while you stay in top shape.

Many of us will travel by car to our favorite destinations. Time spent on the road can wreak havoc on the diet if you do not prepare in advance. Here are a few tips to consider when traveling on the road.

Tips To Consider When Traveling

  • Follow a basic behavior modification technique and never eat while driving a car. The amount of food eaten unconsciously while focusing on riding or driving can add up dramatically. Easy access to food and the distraction of the road make automatic, even unconscious, excess snacking occur.

  • Never eat from the original package or bag. Snack food placed on plates takes up more space and will cut the risk of unconsciously eating the entire bag.

  • Choose snacks that will fulfill a portion of your nutritional requirements rather than an empty-calorie snack. A good choice would be unbuttered popcorn. At twenty-three calories per cup, popcorn is a filling high-fiber snack, which takes a long time to eat. Find out what other foods would be good to eat with our huge nutrient database. Find out how many calories, how much fat, protein and carbs are in over 6,000 foods!

  • Choose foods that are high in nutrient density and foods that are low in energy density. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and will keep you energized through your day. An 8-ounce broccoli stalk is approximately 40 calories. The energy it takes to metabolize the broccoli will be burned up in the digestion and absorption process.

  • Vary your fruit snacks. Wrap bananas in foil and freeze them for the trip. Seedless grapes and berries that are frozen make a great snack as well.

  • Sandwiches can be frozen overnight: they will be ready to eat by noon the next day. Choose coarse, whole grain bread with fillings that freeze well. Chicken breast and tuna fish are good choices.

If You Stop By A Restaurant, Consider The Following:

  • Avoid ordering mixed foods, processed foods and foods that might be prepared in lard, oil, butter or margarine.

  • Order plain meats, baked potatoes or rice, and steamed vegetables.

  • Salad bars are offered in most restaurants, and are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A and C. Many items at salad bars are high in sodium, fat and calories and should be eaten in moderation. The choices that are lower in calories and fat are as follows:

What To Look For At The Salad Bars:

  • Dark leafy greens and lettuce such as spinach and romaine are higher in nutrients than iceberg lettuce.

  • All fresh vegetables: bean sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, radishes, red cabbage and tomatoes, due to the fact that they are high in fiber and vitamins and low in calories.

  • Turkey, egg whites, chicken or lean beef for protein

Salad Dressing Considerations:

  • To conserve calories, salads should not be dressed at the salad bar. The dressing should be spooned into a small side dish and taken to the table. Choose oil and vinegar over other salad dressings like Thousand Islands, creamy blue cheese or Italian. Tossing the salad thoroughly ensures that only a small amount is needed.

When Traveling By Plane, Consider The Following:

  • You do not have to settle for airline food. If you call in advance 24 hours before your flight you can request to have a specialized meal ready for you. Most airlines provide a variety of special meals to accommodate vegetarians, diabetics, or individuals on low-sodium or low-calorie diets.

  • Salty foods such as pretzels, peanuts, potato chips and saltine crackers should be avoided.

  • Fatty foods coat the lining of the stomach and delay stomach emptying.

  • Over seas traveling can take as long as ten hours or more with little opportunity to engage in activity. With this in mind, consider that a 12-ounce beer would require a thirty-minute walk to burn off the empty calories consumed. A one and a half ounce 80 proof gin or vodka requires twenty minutes of rowing to burn off those empty calories.

  • Designate a portion of the meal, such as a glass of juice, a salad, or a piece of fruit, to be eaten later as a snack.

When You Arrive, Consider The Following:

  • When dining out, select restaurants that offer a large variety and are more likely to include nutritious, low-calorie choices.

  • Keep in mind that a restaurant or a hotel is not a private kitchen and that the chef is not your personal employee. When making a request, the following considerations should be taken into account:

    • Learn about cooking basics. Béchamel, béarnaise, and hollandaise sauces as well as Thousand Islands and creamy Italian dressings are made of high-cholesterol ingredients. "Sautéed" always means cooked in butter. All fried food, no matter the fat or oil in which it is fried, is high in calories.
    • Make requests clear, specific and easy to follow. Do not interrogate the waiter or waitress. Your request should be precise and if you do not want a particular ingredient state what is acceptable. Many times an establishment will substitute a "no butter" request with margarine.

Tips To Remember When You Are Traveling:

  • Do not eat beyond the point of satisfaction

  • Do not eat too fast

  • Do not talk when you are eating

  • Do not skip lunch and make dinner a huge meal, as many travelers do. Keep in mind that many restaurants offer the same food for lunch as for dinner, but at lower prices.

  • Finally, do not forget to exercise. Walk to your destinations instead of taking a taxi or bus. Use the stairs instead of the elevators. Take advantage of the hotel pool or fitness facility. All of this can help burn calories, aid in assuring a restful nights sleep, and give you an opportunity to release some of the pressures of the day that can lead to excessive eating or drinking.

With all of the fun and sun the summer time brings, following theses tips can help assure that when fall rolls around you will still be in the best shape of your life. Have a fit and fabulous summer season!

If you have any questions, contact me @ patrick@issaonline.com.

Patrick Gamboa B.S.