Finding healthy food is not easy when you’re traveling. Follow our guide, however, and you’ll effortlessly maneuver around bites that sabotage your health and fitness goals while you’re out and about living your best life. Here is how to find quick and healthy food on the go.
Hit Fast Food Restaurants
Say what? Bet you didn’t expect fast food joints to make the list. Well, here they are but there's a caveat. You need to be smart about navigating around the calorie bombs on the menu. You might be surprised, but there are plenty of fast food restaurants out there with healthy options. You just have to find them. And resist temptation.
McDonald’s has some long-standing healthy staples like a variety of salads with low-fat dressings and the fruit n’ yogurt parfait — both of which have around 200 calories and 3 grams of fat. Panera Bread’s You-Pick-Two deal allows for a cup of soup and half a tasty sandwich for 320 calories. Even Taco Bell offers healthier versions of their signature Mexican food with its Fresco Menu — try the Fresco Steak Burrito for just 430 calories or hold yourself over with a steak taco for less than a third of the calories and just 4 grams of fat.
If you steer clear of anything fried, bready or sweet and opt for grilled or fresh items, you'll find affordable, healthy fare that you can eat on the go.
The key to feeling full and satisfied is protein. Chowing down on a bunch of empty calories during travel may seem like the quickest and easiest thing to do in the moment, but it will leave you crashing an hour or so later. You can help avoid this come-down by packing non-perishable snacks from home in anticipation of a road trip or travel abroad.
We love these 190-calorie, portion-controlled peanut butter squeeze packs, useable anytime, anywhere. Yes — they’re TSA-approved. Other awesome grab-and-go travel snacks with plenty of protein include string cheese (Sorrento’s part-skim has 7 grams of protein and just 6 grams of fat), dry roasted edamame (13 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat), roasted chickpeas (2 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein), whole-grain granola bars (like Luna Bars, 210 calories and 8 grams of protein), Blue Diamond’s 100-calories almond packs (4 grams of protein) and Jerky (go for Perky Jerky’s 1 ounce Turkey Jerky with only 90 calories and 10 grams of protein).
The great thing about these snacks is that they can all be thrown into a container and easily eaten in the car, on a plane or somewhere in between.
Learn How to Navigate a Gas Station Pit Stop
Skip the chip aisle and head to the healthier side, the area stacked with nuts, seeds, granola bars and dried fruit. Not only are these options healthier but they all contain protein to keep hunger at bay until your next stop.
Larger gas stations may also have yogurt and cheese sticks in their coolers which are great for an energy and protein boost. In a pinch, protein bars will do, but read the label — they typically contain a high amount of sugar.
Lastly, don’t forget to check around the cashier’s counter for fresh fruit like apples and bananas.
Be Smart About Accommodation Amenities
Selecting a hotel or room with a mini-fridge will positively affect your healthy eating efforts. Stock your fridge with yogurt, fruits and vegetables for a quick and fortifying breakfast or a healthy late-night snack.
If possible, go one step further and book an apartment or room with a kitchenette and prepare your own food!
Pick a Place That Offers Complimentary Breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Skip it, and you’ll be starving in a few hours and more likely to binge on something unhealthy. We know it’s hard to stop and consider breakfast when you’re on the go, but picking a hotel with a complimentary buffet makes it easy to fuel up before you hit the road. Just keep in mind that while it may be convenient, it’s probably loaded with temptation. Croissants, jelly-filled pastries, and sugary cereals are bound to make an appearance. Opt for the hard boiled eggs and fruit instead.