Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Post: Tips for Fighting Hunger at the Airport

Time for some holiday survival tips! Although it's fine to enjoy a holiday meal to its fullest, we don't want to detour too far from our healthy path. This is especially true when it comes to travelling. Our regular routines are tossed out the window and we feel like we're at the mercy of whatever is easiest to eat while we try to get to our destinations.

Cole Millen of Cole's Mill has some great advice on how to do it right. Take it away, Cole....

Tips for Fighting Hunger at the Airport
As those watching their weight know, airports can be traps. Because airports are filled with unhealthy restaurants, it can be tempting to spend a bit of time eating a calorie-rich but unhealthy meal. It is important to be proactive, and a bit of effort can help you make it through the airport without giving in to temptation. Here are a few tips.
Stay Hydrated
When people feel thirsty, they often grab a soda or high-calorie coffee drink. In addition, it can be difficult to resist the urge to buy food while getting a drink. Unfortunately, drinks cannot be taken through airport security, so your options are limited after you arrive. Drink plenty beforehand, and try to have enough that you won't feel tempted to purchase a drink while waiting. Even if it means an extra trip to the bathroom, extra hydration can help you make it on board without an additional meal.
And Meals to Your Plan
When people travel, they often make a list of the day's activities. However, many fail to account for meals. When making your travel itinerary, write in some extra time for having a meal before heading out. You'll also want to bring along some snacks as doing so can help you stay comfortable while dealing with security and waiting for your flight to begin loading.
Avoid Especially Bad Foods
While knowing which meals to eat is important, it may be even more important to know which meals to avoid. Airports are filled with terrible options, and eating them can cause acid reflux and other problems, which can make travel even more unpleasant. Avoid cinnamon rolls and drinks with too much caffeine. Fried foods should be avoided as well. You may also want to avoid drinking soda, which is loaded with calories and sugar.
Research, Research, Research
The best way to avoid eating excessively the airport is to perform extensive research before leaving. This knowledge is helpful in general, but it is especially important when waiting for a flight. Not only should you read about the food within the airport but in the city as well. You never know when your flight will be cancelled and you’ll be stranded so it is important to prepare for the worst. I got stuck over night in Las Vegas a couple months back that could have led to a dietary disaster. Fortunately, I found a great site where I could do some quick research and book a hotel with a healthy restaurant, allowing me to avoid the deadly buffets.
 Learn about what meals each restaurant offers, and try to find information online about their ingredients and calorie loads. In addition, some knowledge about different types of restaurants can help. For example, Mexican restaurants generally offer a number of healthy options. Chinese restaurants, on the other hand, tend to offer fewer healthy choices. Also, keep an eye out for restaurants that market themselves as healthy; they can become go-to options for those who travel regularly.

The wide range of dining options available at most airports indicates that travelers frequently eat between flights. Travelers have a natural tendency to use them as ways to pass some time before departing. However, they also make it incredibly easy to wreck your diet each time you travel. By taking some time to prepare before heading out, you can ensure that you remain healthy no matter how frequently you travel.

Thank you, Cole! Excellent advice - and I'd like to add my own 2 cents....keep movin'! Waiting for a flight or a layover doesn't mean we have to plant our rears in a plastic chair and watch cat videos on our phones. Sitting is eeeevvvviiiillll! Get up, walk around, do some jumping jacks or use the edge of the chair to do tricept dips. I've gotten full workouts in while waiting around for different reasons. Don't worry about what others in the airport think of you. Your health is more important than the random thoughts of strangers. Repeat after me: "what other people think of me is none of my business." Freeing, isn't it?


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