When traveling, you’ve possibly been tempted to binge on a heaping hotel breakfast buffet or break into your room’s minibar chock-full of enticing treats. You should give yourself some leeway to indulge and try something new while vacationing, but you don’t want to completely upend healthy eating. New York City nutritionist Nikki Ostrower shares tips for maintaining a balanced diet when you’re away from home.
● Do Your Research: Before booking your hotel or lodging reservation, Ostrower recommends asking about food offerings. Find out if the hotel includes breakfast or has an on-site restaurant with healthier items like yogurt and lean proteins, not just muffins and sugar cereals. Also, a quick scan of your hotel’s website can often lead you to its restaurant menu. Knowing your options in advance will help you start your day off right and avoid resorting to the drive-through across the street.
● Ask for an Empty Mini Bar: “I tell them not to stock it with the goodies — the alcohol and chocolate — so as to remove the temptation,” Ostrower says, noting that these alluring treats are neither good for our bodies nor are their high prices healthy for our wallets. Instead, drive your rental car to a nearby grocery store to pick up some of your own fruit, veggies, wraps and yogurt to keep in your room. If you must eat something from the mini bar, Ostrower says to choose seltzer water and nuts over soda and candy bars.
● Use the Coffeemaker: If a hotel room has a coffeemaker, it can be your best friend and even save you money. Ostrower suggests boiling water in the coffeemaker to make instant oatmeal. Cut up an apple to make an oatmeal parfait.
● Don’t Go too Food Crazy: If you’re headed to a nice restaurant at your hotel or in your destination city, you should enjoy the special meal experience. However, you can take steps to prevent post-meal bloating and fatigue, Ostrower says. First, she suggests you never go to a restaurant completely famished. One way to accomplish that is by drinking a glass of water before even lifting your fork. Also, whether you’re dining out or ordering room service, stick to a meal plan such as one appetizer and main course, but pass on the bread. Having a plan is especially helpful when you’re faced with a buffet. One final tip: Skip the complimentary treats left on your pillow or at the front desk.