Sandra Wickham, Author

Fitness Article: Stick To Your Diet Away From Home

By Sandra Wickham

It's not always easy to stick to a nutritional program even when you're at home, sticking to a regular schedule and dealing with all the thing that life throws at you. So then when you're away from home, away from your own kitchen and regular routine, sticking to that healthy eating plan can be even more of a challenge. Here are a few tips that have helped me.

Plan Ahead!

The only way to be successful with an away from home eating plan, is to plan, plan, plan ahead! Yes, it will take a bit of thought, a bit of pre-planning for shopping and food preparation, but it WILL be worth it when you don't slide off your healthy plan.

Pick foods that are condusive to travel

For longer trips away from home you have to do more planning than for a one day trip. If it's a longer trip, don't try and bring along soup if you won't have a chance to heat it up. Don't pack liquids that might leak if you're packing a suitcase! Don't bring anything that you're worried about going bad.

If you're going on a longer trip, you can always FREEZE your prepared meals (indvidually) and put those in your cooler bag. They will act as cooling for your other food and will be ready to eat when you get to your destination.

Here's a list of some of the things I bring with me on a longer trip:

    Cans of fish (don't forget your can opener!)
    Rice cakes and Crispy Mini's
    Rice crackers
    Premade store bought packs of tuna or salmon with crackers (though I use my own rice crackers)
    Protein Bars and Green Bars(I go for ones with a balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat)
    Protein powder and a shaker cup (easy to travel, quick to make)
    My breakfast in a ziploc bag: oatmeal, granola, vanilla protein powder. Just add hot water!
    Meals in ziploc bags or containers: one full meal per bag/container, such as a serving of grilled chicken and sweet potato with flax oil on it. Open, eat with a fork! (need cooler bag for this one

Get A Cooler Bag!

If you're going to be away for a full day or several days, you can still stick to your nutritional plan. Buy yourself a cooler bag, prepare your meals ahead of time and take them with you!

There are lots of different choices available when picking a cooler bag. Make sure it's the right size for what you need. A small, "lunch" sized one won't work for an entire day of meals, and definitely wouldn't work for a multiple day trip. On the other hand, don't make the mistake I did of getting one too big, either! I never wanted to carry it anywhere because it was such an effort to lug around! Instead, I ended up finding one that was a good size, but also had a detachable smaller cooler section that I could use if I only needed to carry along a few items. Do some comparison shopping! See what's out there and think about what you'll need to carry what you want, without it being so huge you end up wanting to leave it at home.

Don't Worry What Others Think

Don't be embarrassed about it. Be proud to be the "odd one out" who sticks to their eating plan by preparing and carrying your healthy meals wherever you go! and ignore the people who think you are odd for carrying your own food around with you or give you a hard time because you're so strict about what you eat.

It is your choice to be fit and healthy and they will be inspired by your habits or they won't. Either way, you come out the winner with a fitter and healthier body.

Finding Healthy Food on the Go

When you go on trips, you can pack healthy meals to take with you, or you can always find healthy choices wherever you go. It may not always seem that way, and it may take some effort, but there are always options. Go to a grocery store and stock up on healthy foods. If you're out at a restaurant, go for the healthiest choices like grilled fish, chicken and salads. If there is absolutely nothing healthy on the menu, ask if you can have something on the menu altered slightly, or even go ahead and ask for something not on their menu. You'd be surprised how accomodating most places will be!

You CAN Do It!

You can stick to your nutritional program while you're away from home! Plan ahead, search out your options and never be afraid to ask for alternatives.

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