Snack Secrets For Travel

snack secrets for travel by Baraa El Sabbagh, dietician, sports nutritionist, personal trainer, dubai

So your bags are packed and you’re ready to go! Hotel and flight are booked, activities planned, and “out of office” email is activated. But are you truly ready? Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or a business trip, people always forget about this key tip that can help maintain their health far from home. 

I’m going to share the juicy secrets that will keep you in tip top shape from the moment you set out on your journey until you get back. It’s all a matter of planning, planning, and a little more planning about what and when you’re going to eat so that you don’t over indulge but are still enjoying your travels!

You can also download the podcast episode and listen to the tips while you're in the air. 

Skip Airplane Food

You’ve probably heard this plenty of times before, but airplane food really isn’t doing you any favors. It doesn’t keep you full and satisfied, it’s filled with unhealthy fats to add flavor, and it’s high in calories. Also, there’s tons of salt in that food, which will add to bloating (a constant problem while traveling). So, if you do have the time before heading to the airport, have a nice hearty breakfast, something like a cocoa blueberry oatmeal. Since it has oats, it’ll keep you full for a long time plus it aids with digestion, which flying always messes with.


Pack Your Snacks

You had your breakfast and now you’re on the flight, super hungry, and looking forward to a snack. Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach up for your own ready made stuff  instead of that airplane food we were talking about? Prepared snacks can be:

  • Carrots with a hummus dip
  • Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
  • Date balls 
  • Overnight oats
  • Homemade Snickers bites
  • Flourless chocolate chip cookies
  • Healthy carrot cake muffins
  • Donuts (yes, healthy donuts!)
  • Fudge Banana Brownie
  • Piece of dark chocolate

Stay Hydrated

We’re always hearing how important it is to hydrate, well this blog post is no different! But especially with travel, you need to be drinking as much water as possible. I know it’s annoying to keep going to the toilet while on the plane, but trust me, it's worth it. You’ll be helping out the bloating issue, tackling any water retention, and keeping yourself glowing. 

With that being said, you’ll need that aisle seat for all those bathroom breaks you’ll be taking. It also helps to get up at least once every hour to move those legs and stretch your body out. It pays to plan, trust me. I once made the mistake of not picking my seat before a flight and ended up in a window seat. I was lucky it was just a couple of hours, but when you’re on a window seat you’re going to limit how often you get up as to not bother the people next to you.


Lunch Time

Snacking only helps to a certain degree, but at some point you’re like “OK, where’s my lunch?” Lunch is another thing you can prepare to take along with you on the trip. Here’s my suggestion: a sandwich (with wholegrain bread) filled with protein could go a long way. It’s fine to have some bread and carbs when you’re limited with choices on what you can take on the flight. I personally like to get the salmon sandwich from Pret A Manger, or pick from their wide range of salads! Don’t add all the dressing (that adds up to a whole lot of calories) and make sure there’s at least some sort of protein in there. 

Facts & Figures

Guys, these facts blew my mind. Apparently, when we’re 35,000 feet in the air food will taste different to us. How? Our detection of saltiness and sweetness drops, which means airlines are piling on at least 30% more salt and sugar in order for us to pick up those tastes. Thanks to all that extra sodium, our bodies start retaining excess water, which explains the bloating and the heavy feeling in our bodies after a flight! 

Another crazy fact: studies showed that passengers are likely to consume 3,400 calories from the moment they check in until landing in their final destination. Again, it’s due to the type of food served and the boredom (when you eat just to pass the time because it’s free and it’s literally right there!)


Don’t Skip Meals

You might be thinking “I’m fine waiting till I land to eat.” In this case, you’re risking your blood sugar levels dropping to the point of making you feel tired and fatigued. You don’t want that to happen, especially if you’re traveling someplace new and exciting you want to explore! Skipping meals also messes with your biological clock, so if you’re going to a whole new time zone, your body will suffer through jet lag in more ways than one. 

Your New Travel To Do List

So whether you’re on a 3 or a 6 hour flight, you ought to be packing enough that you won’t resort to the airplane food. If it’s a long flight, prepare lunch and dinner. If it’s a shorter one, you’ll be OK with a meal and a snack. Here’s a refresher on what you need to do before boarding:

  • Make sure you got the aisle seat.
  • Have a great home cooked meal to fill you up.
  • Pack those snacks and water bottles.
  • Prepare a meal like a salad or sandwich, or pick something up at the airport.
  • Be mindful when you’re in the air about whether you’re really hungry or just eating out of boredom.
  • Download some podcasts to listen while you're in flight mode! 

Bon Voyage!

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