3 Aspects of Weight Loss During Holiday Travel

There's the holidays. And then there is traveling. And then.... there is traveling during the holidays.

These can be wonderful times. And stressful times.
And when you are on a weight loss program, either can be challenging, but when you add holidays and travel, it can be downright intimidating, especially when holidays largely center around food-related events.

So let's separate out the three areas of concern: travel itself, accommodations, and holiday festivities.

Whether you fly, drive, or take a train or bus, holiday travel can often be fraught with stress like storms causing delays, intense traffic, and connections that fall within a tight time window. 

Even on the best of traveling experiences, holiday delays make sticking to your regular eating schedule important. If you are going to miss meals, having appropriate snacks to get you through the day are important. It starts with what you pack. Depending on your mode of travel, you may be able to carry more snacks.

Luckily, the food industry has caught on to the trend of providing healthy options: food manufacturers produce snack sized portions that are available in convenience stores in gas stations and airports. These stores also offer healthier fresh items in their grocery sections, including fresh fruit, boiled eggs, yogurt, or prepared salads.

Or if you elect to stop somewhere for some fresh food, choose places that let you build your own meal and heap on the fresh vegetables: sandwich shops, deli counters, Mexican fresh-fast food locales, frozen yogurt shops with fresh fruit toppings (for your sweet tooth).

So where are you going to visit? And who are you staying with? Are friends and family putting you up? Or is a hotel in your future?

Family accommodations can come with some cramped quarters when it comes to sleeping arrangements. But something to consider with your weight management plan is to ask for some room in the refrigerator and the pantry for your food items. This is becoming more common, particularly for those with a food intolerance or allergy as well as food lifestyle choices.

But if you're staying in a hotel, then you may be able to make some use of those hotel refrigerators. A trip to the local grocery store will help you stock up on healthy snacks that you would usually have at home such as yogurt and hummus. Another boon to charging a room is choosing a hotel that has accommodations for your exercise needs like a fitness or pool center.

Holiday Festivities
And then comes all the holiday festivities: the traditional sit-down dinner; escaping to the local watering hole for some drinks; the array of sweets left out to be grazed upon throughout the day; checking out a new restaurant that's opened with old friends, among others.

Your regular holiday feasting guidelines apply. Pick the healthier options, select small portions, ask if someone has experimented with making a healthier version, indulge with a smaller portion of your favorite, stay hydrated with low-calorie holiday drinks.
Restaurant eating follows your same non-holiday mantra: ASK ASK ASK. What are the preparation methods, ingredients? Can you have substitutions, extra vegetables? Are you new to the area? Try some locally sourced fresh foods you may not have at home.  

Family Affairs
If your family does a buffet, then you're in luck. You can scope the offerings to put on your smaller plate. The sit-down dinner table meal may be more challenging as some family will simply add things to your plate. Everyone has that one family member trying to fatten everyone up, and to get everyone to take something home. If you're not comfortable sharing your weight loss goals with your family, prepare yourself to graciously decline the offerings.

Lively activities
Don't forget to incorporate some fitness into your holiday. Seek out activities that make you move. Help your host with a little house cleaning. Take the stairs. Walk as much as you can: take to the local walking trails, scope out changes in the neighborhood, even get in some holiday shopping. Join or start a family activity like flag football, ultimate frisbee, ice skating, or building a snowman. If you're in a hotel, take advantage of their fitness center or pool facility. Keep a mini-workout plan that doesn't require any equipment; and if you have a quiet moment, fit the workout in.
Holiday travel and holiday feasting provide ample opportunities for community and fellowship, as well as potential pitfalls for your weight loss goals. Contact your weight loss experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers set up your weight loss plan for your holiday travels and feasts.

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