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The Healthy Road Trip Diet

Summer is here, and if you're like many Americans, that means you'll probably be hitting the road for vacation, a trip to the beach or a visit with friends. But just because you're not following your regular routine doesn't mean you have to abandon your healthy eating habits. 

Choosing healthy options when you're on the road can be challenging, but if you do some planning in advance, you can avoid making poor food choices. Here are 4 tips that can help:

  1. Skip the sugar. When you're hungry or tired and are looking for food to give you the boost you need, select foods that combine complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat. If you just reach for sugary snacks, you'll be feeling tired and hungry again in no time.
  2. Pack your own snacks. There are many healthy snack options you can bring from home that will keep you satisfied so you're not stopping for fast food or grabbing something from a vending machine. Bring along whole fruit and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, oranges, baby carrots or mini bell peppers. Pack single-serving-size bags of nuts, dried fruit or trail mix. If you have a cooler, string cheese, hummus with whole grain crackers or yogurt will keep you energized.
  3. Scan restaurant menus carefully. It may take some work but you can find better-for-you options at most restaurants. At fast food restaurants, choose salad, grilled chicken or soup but watch out for sauces, cheese and toppings that can turn your healthy-sounding choice into a not-so-healthy option. At sit-down restaurants, request that food be prepared the way you want it.
  4. Stay hydrated. Sometimes you think you're hungry when you're really just thirsty. Staying well hydrated is easy to forget when you're on the road but its as important to drink enough fluids on the go as when you're home. If it's extremely hot or you're very active, you may need to drink more than the recommended 6-8 glasses of fluids a day. Water is a great thirst quencher and doesn't have calories or sugar.

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Date Last Reviewed: April 10, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN
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