Maintaining your diet plan when traveling on business is often an overlooked problem. Toothbrush? dress shoes? …easy, your diet? That’s all too easy to forget. For those whose jobs require frequent travel, your weight loss plan all too often goes right out the window along with your exercise. A hectic schedule coupled with limited dining options on planes, airports and on the road are enough to derail the most determined dieter. Business meetings and alcohol dinners add to the lack of calorie control. But even with the odds against you, there are ways to maintain your diet plan while on the go. If you have a plan, you’re likely to do better dieting when traveling because you’re not letting your environment control you.
Dieting when traveling for business requires a few simple steps. Here are a few tips to keep your regimen on track while you’re on the road. One of the most challenging feats is sticking to a regular meal schedule while traveling. Flights can get delayed or canceled, stranding you in the airport terminal with nothing but the worst food around. Long car trips can provide no option but a rest stop. That’s why having healthy snacks with you is so vital. Frequent travelers also face time changes and jet lag, which can quickly derail an well thought out plans.
The goal is to have snacks, high protein drinks, and bars and even mini-meals that are light in weight, need no preparation, no refrigeration, are easy to carry, and take up very little space. The image to the right shows numerous examples. No liquids, nothing that weighs more than a few ounces and nothing that quickly spoils.
Limitations on Airplanes: TSA Prohibitions on Liquids and Gels
The Transportation Safety Administration prohibits all liquids and gels in containers larger than 100 milliliters (just over three ounces) in carry-on baggage. Liquids and gels may be brought in these smaller quantities, provided that all such containers fit into a one quart, zip-close plastic bag. “Liquids and gels” include peanut butter, jelly, frosting, pudding, hummus, applesauce, cream cheese, ketchup, dips, and other soft or pourable food items. The only exceptions are baby food, baby milk, juice for infants, and liquid medicine (with a written prescription). This rule, known as the TSA liquids rule, stipulates that you can only carry cranberry sauce, jam or jelly, maple syrup, salad dressing, ketchup and other condiments, liquids of any type, and creamy dips and spreads including cheese, salsa, and peanut butter in a container under that quantity. Unfortunately, your liquid will be thrown out if its quantity exceeds this amount.
Canned foods, partially melted ice packs, and alcoholic beverages provide the most trouble in getting through security checkpoints as these come with specific rules on when they can and cannot be transported in carry-on luggage.
Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof (70 percent alcohol by volume) including grain alcohol and 151 proof rum are prohibited from checked baggage and carry-on luggage. However, you can bring small bottles of alcohol (the same you would purchase in-flight) as long as they do not exceed 140 proof.
Ice Packs: This prohibition extends to ice packs, whether they are gel or liquid. Keeping cold foods cold may be difficult on long flights. Flight attendants may not want to give you ice from their freezer to use in your cooler, so you will need to find ways to keep your food cold or pack items that can be kept at room temperature.
Foods and Drinks that the TSA scrutinizes food when brought through the security checkpoint also includes oils, ketchup, salad dressings, gravy, and especially unwrapped foods.
Dieting When Traveling – Shopping List for Healthy Snacks and Light Meals
Low Calorie/Low Carb Foods for Travel: Car, Plane and in Your Hotel!
Fruit: Raisins, Dried Fruit, Apples, Apple slices, Oranges, Tangerines, Bananas, Grapes
Veggies: Mini Carrots, Radishes, Celery Sticks, Cucumber Slices
Nuts: Portioned controlled small bags of Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Macadamias, No-Shell Pistachios
Dairy: Cheese sticks or Mini Cheeses (like Babybell or Laughing Cow), Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
* Protein Snacks: Protein shakes, bars, packs of protein shakes in powder form, Hard Boiled Eggs, Hummus. Turkey or Beef Jerky, protein shake cup mixer
Miscellaneous Snacks: Crackers, Veggie Chips, Low-Sugar Trail Mix, Pretzels, Kale Chips
Sandwiches: ham, cheese, turkey, mustard or ketchup
Where to Buy Travel Snacks
2. Amazon.com: search “airplane, traveling, automobile snacks”
3. Minimus.biz: Miniature Products Ideal for Dieting When Traveling – Travel size toiletries, foods, and more. They are the world leader in all things travel-sized with over 2500 travel-size products and miniature items. Find your favorite products in travel-sizes now! They have the best selection of miniature salad dressings, condiments, and oils available.
4. Trader Joe’s: Large selection of small package, healthy, low calorie snacks ideal for dieting when traveling