scaleDieting can be difficult even if you are in the comfort of your own home with a kitchen, fresh ingredients that are good for you, and a support system to encourage you.  Dieting during the holidays was probably not my best decision.  Throw in travel and it can be downright impossible.  I have come up with one reason or another to excuse the fact that I really should start my diet.  Usually those excuses centered on the next trip.  I can’t diet if I am traveling, right?

Wrong.

I have been on my diet for about three weeks.  I am down seven pounds and I couldn’t be more thrilled with my progress.  For the last four days, we were traveling and I had to do my best to make sure that I didn’t derail my progress so far.  A lot of the tips you follow at home to keep yourself on track are the same tips you can follow while you are on your trip.

Bring your own snacks.  We pack a reusable grocery bag full of healthy snacks.  I choose snacks that travel well like apples and oranges, granola, graham crackers, and other low calorie choices.  If I know I have a snack in the car, I won’t spend five dollars on junk that I don’t need when we stop to get gas for the car.  This will also help me save money in the long run.

Know your options before you go.  If you have to eat out, do your research ahead of time.  We had chosen a restaurant to eat at and I hopped online to look up the fat and calories of meals that sounded tasty.  I was absolutely amazed at how many calories were in some of the meals that I thought sounded healthy.  When you get to the restaurant, don’t even tempt yourself with the mouth-watering pictures in the menu.  Be ready to place your order before you even arrive at the restaurant.

Consider cooking in your accommodations.  It isn’t always possible, but if it is in the budget we try to book accommodations that provide a kitchen or kitchenette.  This allows me to cook healthy meals for all of us.  Even if there is no kitchen available, you can still cook in your hotel room if it has a microwave and a mini-fridge says Kosher TravelingMom.

Bring breakfast with you.  No matter what kind of accommodations you stay in (unless your hotel serves continental breakfast!), bring your own breakfast.  Oatmeal is on my list of approved foods so I bought some single serve oatmeal containers and cereal for the kids.  We can make breakfast each morning and spend a little bit more time snuggling in front of the television before we start our day.

Pack a meal for the road.  Instead of giving in to the temptation to just drive through a fast food restaurant, pack your lunch or dinner before you leave.  Stop at a rest stop, let the kids run around and enjoy a break from the car.  

Skip the soda.  My downfall when I am on the road is an ice cold diet soda.  After I start sipping my soda, I immediately reach for a bag of chips or another snack.  When I drink water, I don’t seem to have those same cravings.

Don’t beat yourself up if you splurge a little.  When we arrived back in our room on our last night of our trip, we had a fun treat of delicious homemade cookies and milk waiting for us.  I love perfectly made oatmeal raisin cookies and there just happened to be two on the plate.  I allowed myself one cookie and didn’t make myself feel bad about it.  Instead of beating myself up because I cheated on my diet, I ate the one cookie and was over it.  In the past, I would have the mindset that I already ate one cookie, so now I can just eat the whole plate of cookies.  This is not an acceptable mindset for me anymore!

So how did I do on my trip?  I lost one pound!  I would have been happy just maintaining my weight while we were traveling, but I am thrilled with a one pound loss while traveling.  I hope that my progress continues and when I meet up with my Traveling Mom friends in the spring, they won’t be able to recognize me!

What are your tips for traveling while you are dieting?