Harley Pasternak Blogs: How to Eat Well While Traveling

Harley Pasternak Blogs: Travel Tips
Harley Pasternak
Courtesy Harley Pasternak

updated 08/07/2012 at 04:00 PM EDT

originally published 08/08/2012 12:05PM

When it comes to eating well, travel can be your worst enemy. From skipping workouts to hours of sitting (and not moving) in cars, airplanes and airports, there's a lot that can derail your diet.

But not to worry! After 20 years of chasing my clients around the globe, I've developed five effective tips that will help you avoid gaining weight while on your next vacation or business trip.  

Carry Food on the Plane

Imagine this scenario: you wake up at 5:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. flight. After arriving at the airport, checking in and boarding, your stomach begins to rumble. You realize you haven't eaten since your 7 p.m. dinner the night before.





In times like these, you'll be grateful you remembered to pack a snack. When deciding what to bring on the plane, keep the following foods in mind:

• Does not require refrigeration (no dairy)
• Easy to travel with (nothing saucy)
• Healthy (lean protein and/or a fibrous snack)
Try instant oatmeal packets, snack bars (5Factor, Kashi, South Beach, turkey or beef jerky, fresh or dried fruit, high fiber dry cereal (GO Lean, Optimum, almonds, roasted soy beans.

Eat Before You Board

Regardless how late or early your flight is, you should always try to eat before you fly. This allows you the freedom to sleep on the plane, or watch a movie or read a book without being disturbed. It also gives you the ability to eat foods that are healthy and fresh. 

Try to eat meals that fit into one of these categories:
• High fiber like vegetables, beans or whole grains
• High protein like fish, chicken or turkey
• Lots of water so you'll stay hydrated during the flight
• Reduce your sodium and caffeine intake to avoid dehydration and hyperactivity

What to Eat in the Airport

We’ve all experienced the confusion of deciding what to eat in an airport. Finding something healthy in an airport food court is sort of like finding a cheap apartment in Manhattan, they exist – but are few and far between!

Stay away from the fried and fat-laden foods of fast food chain restaurants and the sugary treats of newsstands. Instead, search out lighter options. The following are available at most airports and are significantly lower in fat and sugar than any other airport meals:

• Salads
• Turkey sandwich
• Greek Yogurt
• Fruit
• Soup (no cream)

What to Drink On Board

As the beverage cart wheels its way down the aisle, the pressure to select just the right drink begins to build. I’m a Smart Water with lemon (no ice), kind of guy. If it’s a red eye, I'll have a black coffee when I wake, and once in a while, an herbal tea hits the spot.

When deciding what to drink in flight, you must realize the drink you choose can dehydrate you, cause frequent bathroom trips, give you anxiety, headaches, cure headaches, make you hyper, or contribute to body fat!

Keep beverages that are high in caffeine, alcohol, and sodium to a minimum (save for my coffee before I land).

For a smooth flight, try and stick with low caffeine, low sodium beverages like those in the following categories:

• Water
• Sparkling water
• Decaffeinated coffee
• Low calorie flavored drinks (Vitamin Water Zero, Fuze Slenderize)
•Herbal tea

Explore Your Airline's Special Meal Offerings

Many special meals can be healthier than the standard "meat and potato" entrees, and, in the case of kosher food, slightly fresher.

• Vegetarian
• Low fat
• Kosher
• Hindu
• Fruit plate

Check back every Wednesday for more insider tips on Hollywood's hottest bodies – and learn how to get one yourself! Plus: follow Harley on Twitter at @harleypasternak  

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