Summer has finally arrived! It’s time to pack away the jackets and open the sun roof. Lucky for us, Philly is just a few hours from lots of fun destinations such as New York City, the Baltimore Harbor, D.C., amusement parks, the Jersey Shore and several other beaches. So, it is time to fill up the gas tank and hit the road!
A good road trip always has a few important essentials such as singing (to your favorite tunes), snacking and making pit stops. But one thing to keep in mind when traveling is that calories can add up quickly. This can be fueled by excess snacking during the drive and eating meals with more calories at rest stops. Let’s face it, it does not end there – when you get to your destination, it’s pretty hard to resist the temptation of all the foods synonymous with vacation. Snacking sensibly is a great way to minimize overeating while away from home. So, here are a few tips about mindful snacking during road trips (and vacation too).
Consider packing a cooler with snacks and drinks from home ahead of time. It’ll help you save money and encourage portion control. Snacks that travel well include fruit, yogurt, mini hummus packs, baby carrots, nuts, trail mix, low-fat cheese sticks and whole-grain granola bars.
Don’t forget the drinks. Stock your cooler with water bottles and perfectly portioned containers of your favorite beverages such as 100% juice boxes or Coca-Cola mini cans. These snacks and drinks are perfect to store in the mini-fridge (or cooler) in your hotel room too!
Limit Snacking to Specific Times
When you are on the road for hours it is quite easy to practice mindless eating- especially if the snacks are easily assessable. Instead, consider storing items in the trunk and snacking during bathroom breaks or stick to your normal snack schedule, such as mid-morning or late afternoon.
Keep your Eye on the Prize
Each one of us has a favorite vacation food, whether it is funnel cake, homemade ice cream on a waffle cone or hand cut French fries. You should enjoy some of the foods you love – after all it is vacation! However, balance and moderation are equally important. Before you leave for your destination, figure out which foods you must have to make your trip feel complete and enjoy those foods in moderation. This will help keep the calories in check and ensure both your belly and waistline are happy. Safe travels!
Stacey Matthews-Woodson, MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and consultant to The Coca-Cola Company and provides practical nutrition information on behalf of the Company. All opinions expressed are her own.