How To Keep Off The Weight While Traveling

by How To Mommy on 11.14.11

I mentioned last week a few Weight Watchers tips for keeping off the pounds during the holidays.  While those tips are great for the actual day of the event, it may not be enough.

The holidays are not only synonymous with over eating,  but also traveling!

And traveling means fast-food, which is notoriously bad on your waistline.  Luckily for me, Weight Watchers was back with another great article!

Whether you’re at the mall, airport, or bus terminal, you have more fast-food options than ever before — an array of choices beyond the basic burger and fries.

It can make your head spin, but it doesn’t have to sink your healthy goals.

Just follow these tips to navigate these fast food places with ease.

How To Keep Off The Weight While Traveling

Plan ahead. Malls and airports have begun including comprehensive directories on their own websites, so start there for a list. Then check each restaurant’s website to scout out nutritional information.  Jot down the best bets {or email them to your smartphone}. Narrowing down your selections before you’re hungry will make it easier to follow through with smart choices.

Pack snacks to balance your meal. You don’t have to load up a minicooler with food, but stash an apple or some baby carrots in your purse to munch along with whatever you buy at the food court. If you can’t bring your own, stop by the coffee kiosk or deli for a piece of fruit.

Consider restaurant-hopping. There’s no rule that says you can buy food from only one vendor.  You could hit the deli salad bar next (just be careful with caloric add-ons and dressings) to make a better side salad than what the burger joint is offering, or get a bowl of steamed broccoli from the Chinese buffet to go with your grilled chicken sandwich.

Look for picks with protein. Whether you’re after a snack or a meal, make sure it contains some protein. At breakfast, that means ordering scrambled eggs with your fast-food pancake. Looking for lunch? Think beyond the veggie-only salad – get a cheese-free soft taco to go with it. For a snack, why not have a small cup of fast-food chili? It’s packed with protein and fiber for a PointsPlus value of 4. Another good light meal or snack choice is a small piece of plain thin-crust pizza, which clocks in at a PointsPlus value of 5 (just be wary of veggie toppings that may be sautéed in oil first).

Don’t fall for “healthy” traps. Sure, a Cobb salad might look nutritious (all those veggies!) but cheeses, meats, eggs and avocado pack on the PointsPlus values (11, and that’s without dressing). A soft pretzel may seem innocuous enough, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of long-lasting satisfaction, and the small ones start at a PointsPlus value of 6 — and they only go up from there. Ditto a seemingly virtuous bran muffin, which will cost you a whopping 11 PointsPlus values. Trail mix, that convenience-store staple, is loaded with protein-rich nuts, but a quarter-cup (and let’s be honest, who can stop there?) will set you back 5 PointsPlus values.

Downsize to satisfy cravings. If you just must have the burger and fries, go ahead — but make it a kid’s meal {I do this all the time!}. The smaller portion means fewer PointsPlus values. Also, trim excess where you can. Ordering a wrap at the deli? Eat half of it with the tortilla, and pick out the rest of the filling with a fork to save some PointsPlus values.

Consider a sit-down restaurant. Or at least sit down for a while. It might not be that much more expensive or time-consuming to go to one of the nicer restaurants in the food court or airport, and you’ll likely have more healthy options.

Account for treats. If it’s a between-meal nosh you’re after (or just something sweet to finish off a meal), go ahead and let yourself have a little something. A small soft-serve ice-cream cone is a perfectly respectable treat, clocking in at a PointsPlus value of 5. Another indulgent but sensible option is a single piece of nut-free chocolate from a fancy candy store. Buy just one, and really take your time savoring every last bit of it. Your taste buds — and your waistline — will thank you.

The best advice is to really be prepared.  As much as you can, plan out your meals for the following day (or the biggest ones) so you know how many (or how few) PointsPlus (or calories, etc) you’ll have left for the rest of the day!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 karlie November 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM

im loving this post!

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2 How To Mommy November 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Thank you! I’m so glad!

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3 Elizabeth @Our Life November 14, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Why did you have to post this *this* week? Next week I could read this and just resolve to do better next trip. Now I’m faced with having to make healthier decisions the rest of this week!!

😉 I’m just joking, of course (sort of). It’s an awesome post with great tips!!

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4 How To Mommy November 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Haha! Sorry to spoil your fun. 🙂

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5 Sinea Pies November 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Thanks for the Weight Watchers pep talk and link. Their suggestion to restaurant hop is a great one. Food courts have so many choices, why stick with just one menu when a great side dish is only a few steps away?

I love Weight Watchers and always come back to them.

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6 Ashley @ It's Fitting November 14, 2011 at 11:51 PM

This is great! I travel a lot and try to bring most of my own food when I go. It’s pretty easy to get by on apples and cheese sticks… or Subway which is my favorite.

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7 Lisa @ A Little Slice of Life November 22, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Fast food is my weak spot. Thanks for the great tips.

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8 Lindsey Daly May 20, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Great tips! We have an 18 hr flight coming up so I will need this

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