Summer is (almost) officially here, which means more time spent outdoors soaking up the sun. Also, it means you’ll probably be using more of your vacation days to enjoy the seemingly short-lived summer season.

But, hopping on a plane or taking a road trip doesn’t mean you have to resort unhealthy eating habits. You can still indulge in a nutritious diet while on the go. Medical Daily spoke to registered dietitian, Lauren Minchen, who shared some tips about how to stay healthy while traveling.

Read: Top 5 Saltiest Foods In The American Diet, According To The CDC

Pack Low Sugar Bars

If you plan on taking a plane, one healthy food option you can take through security is a low sugar bar. Some of Minchen’s favorite brands are SimplyProtein, thinkThin, Golda Bar, and Mission1.  After passing through security, skip the sugary drinks and instead opt to buy a liter of water.

“Many people underestimate how dehydrating a plane can be, and this dehydration can turn into excess hunger later,” Minchen told Medical Daily. “Traveling with some protein sources and a full liter of water can help prevent dehydration and fatigue, as well as excessive hunger and overeating later.”

Snack Every Few Hours

Unlike a plane ride, traveling by car allows you to not only bring more food, but more options as well. Minchen recommends having a snack every 2-4 hours. She advises to focus on portable protein sources including Greek yogurt, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, jerky, and flax crackers. Having filling options that are easily accessible may help you avoid pit stops at convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

Read: Diet Tips For Clean Eating: How 'Good Fats' Make Healthy Smoothies, Boost Brain Health

Eat Balanced Meals

Once you arrive at your destination, it can be tempting to eat large portions. This is especially true if you’re vacationing at an all-inclusive resort filled with multiple buffets that seem to have endless options. It’s important to eat balanced meals and to include a lean protein, such as fish, lean beef, poultry, eggs or tofu. To help with satiety, add some veggies to your plate, Minchen suggests. But of course, it’s understandable that you’re not going to eat healthy every meal. So, if you choose to have a heavy meal like pizza or pasta, try to eat half the portion and pair it with a side of your favorite veggie.

“Healthy eating enforces activity and vice versa,” she adds.

Stay Active 

While it’s a great idea to continue your regular exercise routine, many people would rather use their vacation time to relax and unwind. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, being inactive while traveling may lead you to ditch your healthy mindset upon returning home. This doesn’t mean you have to do high-intensity workouts. Just making sure to walk will suffice. 

Drink Lots Of Water

It can’t be stressed enough: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Vacations can often mean more booze and more time in the sun than you are used to, which can both lead to quicker dehydration. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you to ensure you’re drinking enough.

See also: Clean Eating For Oral Health: The Best And Worst Food And Drinks For Healthy Teeth

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