By Stephanie Mansour with Dana Shultz
If you’re on the road this Fourth of July, that doesn’t mean your healthy ways should go out of town, too. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little indulgence in the way of food and decadent desserts, there something to be said about keeping things in moderation as to not totally blow your diet. Below you’ll find five simple solutions from fitness guru Stephanie Mansour, that will help you keep your waistline intact while navigating this holiday the healthy way.
How much of eating healthy on the road is mentality and how much is actual choices?
Eating healthy on the road starts with a mentality. If you intend to eat healthy and even plan ahead, you will set yourself up for successful healthy eating. But if you don’t plan or have an intention to eat healthy, you’ll probably end up eating a fattening alternative. Make sure you are eating every 3-4 hours, including a serving of protein and fruit or vegetables. Even if you stop at McDonalds or Taco Bell – get a small portion of protein and load it with a side of veggies. Think outside of the box and always remember the protein plus fruit/veggie rule!
Should we eat less when we’re in the car a lot and not getting much activity?
It would be wonderful if you could exercise in the morning or at night once you’ve reached your destination. But you can also do thigh squeezes, bicep curls, ab exercises, and more while sitting in the car (that is, if you’re not driving). I do not recommend necessarily eating less to make up for your lost activity. Your brain is still using a lot of energy, even when you’re stationary. Try to stretch, do squats, or even run in place every few hundred miles when you fill up your gas tank.
How can we plan ahead to make healthy eating choices on the road?
Bring snacks, stick to eating every 3-4 hours to avoid any fattening cravings, avoid sugary treats just as you would when you’re at home, and drink plenty of water. Every time you stop for gas, you should be ready to use the restroom! Continue to drink half of your body weight in ounces, as you would if you were at home.
What are some travel-friendly snack ideas?
A single serving of nuts in a Ziplock bag, single-serving almond butter with apples or celery, pre-sliced vegetables with a handful of nuts, hard boiled eggs, lettuce wrap sandwiches kept cold with a block of ice, protein bars (the fewer the ingredients, the better), just to name a few!
How can we fix a diet blunder if we’ve missed our healthy eating goals once returning from a vacation?
Get back into the right, healthy mentality. Don’t feel bad about a “blunder,” and don’t feel guilty. Learn from what you’ve done and move on. Each day and each decision is separate from the last. Just because you ate unhealthy Monday through Saturday on your trip, doesn’t mean all 7 days of the week are shot. Start over at the next decision you make. One day is not wasted – if you’ve eaten poorly, eat some brocoli for dessert! Just aim to make each decision better than the last one.
We hope this helped you better plan your 4th of July travels the healthy way. If you’re on the road this week, keep Stephanie’s tips in mind to keep holiday weight gain at bay. And if you’re at home instead, there are lots of ways to implement these healthy tips into your holiday celebrations as well. Here’s to a happy and healthy 4th!
Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known health and fitness expert and body image and confidence coach. She’s a reality TV trainer on “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,” helping her client lose 80+ lbs in 12 weeks. She combines yoga, Pilates, personal training, and body image coaching for a holistic approach to health and fitness, and her no diets/no guilt mentality is changing the way women everywhere view food and exercise.