Friday, October 9, 2009

Weigh....TO GO!

I thought I'd share a few tips I sent to a friend recently. Donna and her husband, Kevin, came to the States for a 3 week tour of the mid-West, ending in the Northeast. Lucky! She was worried about weight gain during that time and asked for a few ideas. Here they are, with a few more added. By the way, she did great on the trip.

The thing is, is to enjoy the trip. You should taste new and different things when you travel. Just don't eat the whole hog at the luau!

Before you go eat, drink water!! Always start your day with water. It will flush your system, enter the blood stream, cleaning and energizing as it goes. It wakes up your digestive system.

Many hotels offer a continental breakfast. That usually means cereal, waffles, bagels, toast, oj, get the picture. High carbohydrates, low nutrition and fiber. There's usually an apple- start with that. Recent research shows that an apple in the morning is very beneficial in several ways- pectin is a good thing!

There may be yogurt and milk. Dairy/calcium is critical to weight loss. Don't ask me why- it just is!

Even when you choose the wheat bread it won't be the nutritious wheat bread. It's just darker white bread, nutritionally speaking. No fiber...still stripped of great stuff. So maybe skip bread and go for Raisin Bran.

Oatmeal is a great choice- slice an apple thinly into it before you heat it. Perhaps put a little water in with just the apple and heat in the microwave to cook a little before you add your oatmeal. WOW! That's good stuff.
You don't have to eat at the hotel. Grab a yogurt and apple/banana and get outta Dodge!
Once you're on the road, find a grocery store. Buy fruit, baby carrots, celery..Eat a half cup of carrot before you go to lunch or dinner. It will take the edge off of your hunger and give your body something nutritious to work on for a while. Plus, fiber is a good thing when travelling for a while! It will also help you make a better choice at the restaurant since you're not starving.
You can take a cooler with you on your trip, if it's a road trip, to carry cool foods.

Many hotels have a computer for guest use. Ask the concierge for restaurant recommendations, then look them up on the Internet. Check out the menu and make your choice before you go. Thenyou won't be tempted to choose something unhealthy. Pick a couple of things and ask which is more popular. Remember you can request how your food is prepared. If you choose veggies as a side, make sure to ask for unbuttered- just seasonings only. Steak is buttered, also. Lots of hidden fats at restaurants. If you can't look it up, ask your hostess or waiter for healthy recommendations.
Decide where you want the bulk of your calories for the day. If you LOVE big breakfasts, have a good breakfast, but then eat carefully the rest of the day.
Salad isn't always the best choice because dressings are so fattening. Make the best choice and ask for it on the side. Some dressings aren't on the list. Sometimes they'll have balsamic vinegar- which is delicious and fat/calorie free. You can splash a little olive oil with it for a healthy fat.
Dip your fork in first before you pick up your salad. You'll use less dressing but still have the flavor.
If the portion is huge, have your waiter halve it and box it to go at the beginning of your meal. Save it for dinner! Or share. So many of our portions are horribly huge. Or you can grab an extra side and split the entree.
If you're going fast food- Subway has a great menu. I often get a side salad and a small chili at Wendy's. No dressing for the salad. I pour most of the chili on the salad. It's very filling, high protein and low calorie/fat. Chick-fil-a has a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato. Tell them no butter on the bun. It's very good.
You'll want plenty of protein for long lasting energy in your day so eat meat and beans. If you go Mexican food, get grilled meat and black bean- not the refried.
Reward yourself. You ARE on vacation and since you seldom come this way, eat the things that are special to the area. If you love bar-be-que, eat it! You can get grilled meat and ask for sauce on the side or if not, go ahead and get it as prepared. You don't want to miss the great sites, why would you miss the great food?! You don't eat this way at home~ you'll quickly lose the few pounds you might gain.
Eat to "fuel" your body, not to fill up. When you think of it like that, you'll look at the meny differently. Put the highest grade of fuel in your car(body) to get the best mileage and service!
Have a little snack each night. Maybe grapes and yogurt~my personal favorite. Check out the grocery store for the best snack bars~ I'm currently liking Fiber One's Oats and Caramel and Chex Mix's Turtle (chocolate and caramel over pretzels and stuff). Both low fat with fiber and great taste~ like a candy bar without the guilt.
When to stop to tour a site, park away from the front. Get some brisk walking in. You'll relax your joints and wake up your brain. Go for a walk after dinner- is there a park in town?
You can successfully eat while you travel- even abroad. Choose carefully and indulge when it's special. Then walk, walk, walk!!
Bon voyage!

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