Eating healthy is an important part of maintaining your well-being. However, when you’re on the road, it’s difficult to keep up with a proper diet. Fast food joints line the roadways, and you may not always have time to sit down to a meal. Whether time is a factor or you’re just tempted by a Quarter Pounder and fries, it’s an effort to stay focused on nutrition.
If you’re seeking tips on eating healthy on a road trip, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover how to eat well while driving, on a quick stop, or at a sit-down restaurant. Get ready to hit the road, because you’ll be prepared with this advice.
Eating Healthy While Driving
Sometimes you just don’t have time to stop for a full, sit-down meal while on a road trip. It’s tempting to just grab some fast food, but you’re not going to find many healthy choices at Burger King. Instead, consider these two tactics.
1. Make Health Drinks
Staying hydrated is important while traveling, and you can kill two birds with one stone by drinking filling health drinks. Protein shakes or super greens powder that can be mixed with any liquid are options that fill you up while keeping you hydrated. After all, hunger is a sign of dehydration.
2. Pack a Cooler
Planning ahead is essential to ensure you eat healthy while on vacation. One way to do this is by packing a cooler with snacks that are easy to eat while driving. Try foods like baby carrots, cucumber slices, string cheese, sliced apples, yogurt tubes, or hard-boiled eggs.
Making a Quick Stop
Sometimes on a road trip, you’re only able to stop briefly to pick up something to eat. Consider these options if you’re able to make a quick stop.
3. Swing by a Grocery Store
Consider going to a grocery store rather than a convenience store. While some convenience stores are now offering salads or fresh fruit, most still only provide the aisles of chips and sweet snacks. At a grocery store, you can make an informed decision about the type of meals you want. Choose pre-packaged, single-serving cut vegetables for a nutritious snack or have the deli make you a lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat.
4. Choose Healthy Fast Food
Fast casual restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle have many great healthy options and provide carry-out service. If you’re riding shotgun, get a salad or burrito and head back to the car for a quick, delicious meal. The driver, meanwhile, can safely tackle a veggie-packed wrap when behind the wheel. Even Wendy’s offers some grilled chicken and fresh salad items.
Enjoying a Sit-Down Meal
One of the best approaches is to plan enough time on your trip to stretch your legs and go to a restaurant for a sit-down meal. But beware; you can still be overwhelmed by possibilities and choose fatty, unhealthy foods if you’re not careful.
5. Eating at a Buffet
Going to a buffet restaurant is not as crazy an idea as you might think, as long as you have a little self-control. Make sure that you stick to a normal eating schedule so that you’re not overly hungry when entering the restaurant. Also, watch your portion size, or you may end up overeating. When it’s time to fill your plate, select foods like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
6. Enjoying a Sit-Down Restaurant
Having a relaxing meal while on a road trip is a great escape from being crammed into the car. Thanks to online menus, you can avoid temptation by preplanning your meal and deciding what you want before you even walk in the door. Some restaurants even let you choose smaller portions so you don’t need to worry about having leftovers while on the road.
Other Helpful Tips
While on your road trip, remember to be forgiving of yourself. Eating healthy at home is difficult enough, but doing so on the road can be especially tough. Don’t expect to lose weight while on vacation; rather, focus on eating for wellness. Remember that eating nutrient-packed foods helps you to feel energized, while fatty, processed ones tend to make you feel sluggish and bloated.
When eating on the road, be mindful of each bite and savor your food. Taste and enjoy the flavors of your food and eat slowly. If you feel the need to indulge, do so wisely. You don’t require an entire sundae when one plain scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt will do.
If you have any dietary restrictions or follow a certain diet, you may have difficulty finding specific types of foods while traveling. Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or what have you, packing enough suitable food for the trip before you leave is essential. Make sure all items are well-sealed and perishables are kept cool.
Traveling a Healthy Road
A road trip can be fun and exciting. You’re out on the highway and counting down the miles until you reach your destination. Just because you’re away from home, though, doesn’t mean you need to abandon a healthy diet. Planning ahead — whether you’re eating behind the wheel, after a quick stop, or in a sit-down restaurant — will help you maintain your nutrition goals. So go ahead and hit the road, confident that you’ll still be eating healthy.