1. Pack Your Own Plane Food
Whether you’re stuck on a 19 hour non-stop flight from Singapore to New York, or just flying up to Hong Kong for a work trip, it pays to take along your own food to bridge those in-between meal “I’m so bored, I need to eat” pangs.
You could ask for instant noodles, cookies or bar nuts; however, a more nutritious choice would be low-salt snacks like veggie sticks and cottage cheese, a pre-sliced apple and a sachet of peanut butter, or a batch of pre-made high protein muffins with protein powder, Greek yoghurt and oatmeal flour.
If you’d rather prep a proper full meal, meat, seafood and non-liquid food is permitted by airlines in carry-on luggage. If you’re carrying it in a cooler bag with ice packs, ensure the ice packs are fully frozen when your bags are screened at security.
2. Pre-Order Your Airline Meal
Airplane food has a bad rep for having more salt and sugar than regular food as a result of compensating for air pressure and humidity levels.
Thankfully, most airlines these days offer healthier meal options (low/no sugar, nut-free, gluten-free, diabetic, kosher, jain) so dietary needs can be catered for. Just keep in mind that you should make your meal request at least 48 hours beforehand.
READ MORE: The Best Food To Eat On A Plane, According To An Airline’s Culinary Director
3. Graze The Breakfast Buffet
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it’s far too easy to overdo it every morning at the breakfast buffet, especially if it’s included in your room rate.
While it’s tempting to immediately hit the waffle station and go nuts with the maple syrup, start first by eating nutrient-dense foods to keep you more satiated throughout the day.
Have boiled eggs over a cheese-filled omelette, and if there are lean proteins like salmon or chicken on offer, choose those over processed sausages. Once you’ve had those, you may treat yourself to some pancakes or waffles – you are, after all, on holiday.
4. Prioritise Your Treats
If life was perfect, we could pig out 24/7 on holiday and return home exactly as we left. Unfortunately, you can’t cheat the calories in/out rule so unless you’re on a high-energy break, you might want to reign in the eating.
For a reality check, an extra 500 calories a day builds up to 3,500 calories, which is 0.45kg of fat. This doesn’t mean you can’t sample the local treats; just pick one to indulge in daily and really relish it.
READ MORE: 13 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar
5. Choose Fruit Over Gelato
We get it, when it’s hot out, a scoop of gelato or ice cream does wonders, especially after a long day of sightseeing. While you can’t stay away from temptation all the time, you can opt for a healthier option.
Choose fresh fruit shakes (mangos, banana and berries are always a good combination) blended with water and no additional sugar, an acai bowl (if available), or stash a pack of frozen fruit popsicles in your mini bar for an icy pre-bedtime treat.
6. Carry A Thermal Tumbler
Don’t do it just to avoid single plastic usage, do it because keeping hydrated is a golden rule when travelling, and helps to stave off hunger pangs.
Aim to drink at least 250ml of water every hour, especially if you’re in warm country. And if you’re in travelling in winter, fill it up with your favourite warm beverage (coffee, tea, matcha), those well-timed sips of something warm will be a lifesaver.
READ MORE: The Best Slimming Drinks You Should Take In The Morning
7. Skip The Flavoured Dairy Items
When you need an in-between meal snack, popping into the nearest 7-Eleven to grab a cup of yoghurt is never a bad idea. Sugar, though, is a silent killer and one big culprit is flavoured yoghurt.
Rather than choosing a Mixed Berry yoghurt (16g of sugar), opt instead for a non-flavoured one (4g of sugar) and introduce flavour through fresh fruits (slices of banana, handful of berries etc).
READ MORE: Do You Know What Common Food Labels Like “All-Natural” And “Low-Fat” Really Mean?
8. Pack Your Greens
If you’re nervous about eating fresh salads in unfamiliar countries, or just want to get an adequate amount of vegetables in daily, the easiest solution is to pack your greens with you.
For instance, Sun is Shining Supergreens packs 19 organic powerhouse greens (e.g. spirulina, chlorella, algae, kelp, kale, broccoli) and the addition of a specialised enzyme and probiotic complex (handy to keep you regular) which is easy to tote about (it weighs just 227g). Just mix in two teaspoons with cold water, dairy or non-dairy milk or sprinkle it over your morning bowl of granola and you’re good to go.
9. Prep Healthy Snacks
Picture this: You’ve flown for 10 hours and you’ve got to drive another two hours to your final destination. You land and there are only donuts, potato chips and greasy take-out on offer – hardly the ‘healthy’ way to start your vacation.
Save some luggage space to bring along some nutrient-dense, travel-friendly food that keep well and are easy to eat on the road. Pack foods like high-protein beef jerky, individual packets of peanut or almond butter, low-sugar energy bars made with seeds, dried fruit and nuts, trail mix and dark chocolate bars.