Whether we are on the road for business or for leisure, travel can have a tremendous impact on our bodies and minds…not to mention our appetites! When we leave our home environment, it can be very easy to fall into unhealthy behaviors. Unfortunately, these behaviors can have a direct impact on our perceived hunger levels, causing us to feel hungry more often than when we are at home. To ward off fake hunger pangs and keep appetites in check, follow these travel tips:
- Stay Hydrated: When we are on the road, we can often become dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of feeling hungry falsely. Travel Tips: Whenever possible, try to drink water. Carry a refillable BPA-Free Water Bottle with you on the road so that you can refill it anywhere you go. Try to drink your body weight divided by two in ounces of water each day. For instance, if you are 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water per day. If you are hungry during the day, have a glass of water (8 ounces). Wait ten minutes and reevaluate your hunger level. If the feeling subsides, then you were probably dehydrated. If, however, you still feel hungry, it might mean you are really hungry
- Stay Well Rested: When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies react by releasing more or less of certain hormones that are crucial to our ability to control our appetite. As a result, we are more hungry when we don’t sleep enough as compared to when we do. Travel Tips: Different time zones, red-eyes and varying cultural norms can easily impact our sleep patterns. Make sure that you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night you are on the road. Find ways to diminish the effects of jet lag. Finally, maximize sleep in hotel rooms by choosing well-located rooms and following Healthy Road Warrior tips for sound sleep.
- Stay Well Nourished: Well balanced meals are crucial to staying full between meals. Further, the quality of the ingredients is as important as the quantity of food you eat. Every meal and/or snack that you consume should have a healthy balance of healthy fat (preferably monounsaturated and Omega-3s), lean protein and complex carbohydrates. If we eliminate any one of these macro nutrients, our bodies are undernourished and as a result, we feel hungry and want more food. Travel Tips: It isn’t always easy to find healthy, balanced meals and snacks on the road. As a result, pack snacks that can tie you over in the case of an emergency. If you are grabbing a quick snack or meal, stay clear of those that are all carbohydrates. For instance, in lieu of a muffin, bagel or croissant in the morning, get an egg-white sandwich with ham and cheese on whole grain toast. This offers all of the macro-nutrients and fiber. All of which are important to keeping you full throughout the morning.
- Manage Stress: It isn’t uncommon to seem hungry when we are bored, stressed, lonely or fearful. When we are on the road, we experience a lot of added stress and anxiety, so it pays to take care of our emotional well-being as much as our physical well-being. Travel Tips: Every day, build in simple rituals to calm nerves and reduce tension. A few ideas include deep breathing, getting a massage at the hotel spa or building in alone time away from friends or colleagues so that you can recoup.
- Stay Active: Physical activity helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep our bodies oxygenated and energized. When we are less active, however, we can feel sluggish and hungry for the energy we get from food. Travel Tips: Make a daily morning workout a priority. You are more likely to exercise in the morning than at night, especially if your schedule is packed when you are on the road. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, go running or walking for 30 – 45 minutes in the surrounding area.
Have you felt hungry for any of the reasons above? Do you have any travel tips to share for those on the road?