Many airports these days are filled with fast food restaurants and snack shops. This, combined with travel-stress, can spell disaster for your balanced diet if you are not careful. It can be very tempting to grab whatever looks appetizing when you are on the run, or when you are growing bored during a long layover. If you have a pre-planned strategy for healthy eating on the go, you can avoid filling up on junk at airports.
Bring your own food
While you won’t be able to bring full meals, you can stock up on healthy snacks before you leave the house. Fruits such as apples, bananas or even dried fruits satisfy the sweet tooth, are convenient and don’t take up much room. Nuts such as almonds provide protein and healthy fatty acids to stave off hunger while providing necessary nutrients. Protein or fiber bars are also good choices for giving you energy without adding a lot of calories and fat.
Before you leave home
No matter when your flight departs, take time to eat a normal, nutritious meal before you travel to the airport. You will be less tempted to splurge if you are already full. Just avoid spicy foods or other foods that might upset your stomach.
Also, make sure to research the airports as well as cities that you will be traveling to. It is important to know what you will be offered in the airport. Knowing what is in the city around is also very important considering you never know when you will have an over night layover. I found myself stuck in New York City over night and was lost. Fortunately, with some quick help I was able to find a great site that had reviews from other travelers regarding the hotels and restaurants in the area. Information from others who have experienced the same thing can be pivotal! Over preparing is not possible.
Make wiser choices
When you do purchase food at the airport, choose menu items you know are healthier choices. Opt for baked salmon over a hamburger, or choose a vegetable platter over cheese sticks, for example. If a restaurant offers a lean menu or heart healthy menu, stick with those items.
If you are taking an early flight and choose to get your breakfast at an airport, avoid fast food items entirely if you can. You should also avoid sugary items such as Danishes and cinnamon rolls. Low fat yogurt and a piece of fruit are healthier options. Yogurt provides some protein and other nutrients. Fruit contains potassium and other vitamins and minerals to help give you a boost of energy.
Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, body aches and irritability. Keep yourself feeling better and stave off hunger by keeping well hydrated. Remember that jet travel is itself dehydrating due to the dry air inside the plane’s cabin. When you are waiting at the airport, drink plenty of water. Alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating, and so you should avoid them when you can.
Boredom often leads to snacking. Stay busy during long layovers with activities other than eating. Go for a walk around the terminal, do a little shopping for souvenirs or read a good book while you wait.
Sometimes when traveling, people use the special occasion as an excuse to splurge on food and drink. In moderation, this is fine – you shouldn’t feel like you are punishing yourself by refraining from a delicious treat. However, splurging should be the exception and not the rule. Develop good nutrition habits during travel and you will feel better all year round.