Coffee shop, pizza, snack bar, airplane dinner, airplane snacks, the odd mid-flight cocktail…
With little time, few choices and many temptations, how can we keep from straying too far from eating healthy on the fly?
Here are some tips for healthy eating in the airport and in the sky.
In the airport:
- Like at a shopping mall, airport food courts lure you in with stomach growling smells of anything from pizza fresh out of the oven, to freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Before you cave in to a massive slice of pepperoni pizza (that has is nearly half of both your daily recommended fat and calorie intake), or a Cinnabun classic roll (with the same amount of calories and fat as that slice of pizza), try packing a healthy snack to curb those hunger pangs. Snacks like fruit and nuts, or veggies and hummus are a great source of carbohydrates (to give you energy) and protein (to keep you fuller longer).
- Drink water! Often the sensation of thirst is confused with that of hunger. Stay well hydrated and you’ll be able to resist temptations.
On the plane:
- Just because the flight attendant is handing out snacks doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Those small bags of crackers or cookies are forms of simple carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index (which means they empty quickly into the blood stream and spike your blood sugar level). If you’re not starving, say no to the cookies or crackers and stick with a water or tomato juice from the beverage cart.
- On most long or overseas flights, meals are served to us and devoured by most (after all, boredom sets in on an extended flight and eating seems to kill at least 20 minutes of the flight time). The good thing about airplane meals is that they are portioned well. The bad thing is that little white bun accompanied by butter and that stale brownie on your plate. Again, these are simple carbohydrates and will leave you feeling tired and worn down as your blood sugar level spikes. Stick with the chicken, rice and salad if you’re looking to stay within the realm of healthy airplane eating.
To put it all in simpler terms…when travelling bring along healthy snacks, drink lots of water, and avoid simple carbohydrates. If you follow (as best as you can) these 3 tips, your post-flight waistline will thank you.
Gillian Johnson BA, CSCS
Strength and Conditioning Coach