How to Eat Healthier Even at Airports

How to Eat Healthier Even at Airports

Posted by Lori Shemek; November 18, 2013

Traveling long distances usually requires flying instead of driving. This means spending a great deal of time at an airport either prior to the flight or on extended layovers between flights. Most airlines require passengers to check in at least an hour before a flight to ensure enough time for security checks and baggage handling. This downtime can lead to boredom, which can trigger the desire to snack or even eat a full meal before departure. Airports are notorious for offering fast food options that lack much nutritious value. Because it is convenient and quick, many opt for this choice. Fortunately, for the health-conscious traveler there are better options for dining and snacking on healthy foods even at an n airport.

Do Some Online Searching Before Leaving Home
Many airports provide information on their websites regarding the types of food available in the food court. This gives the traveler advance notice of what to expect prior to take-off. It also saves time searching for healthy places to dine during layovers at other airports. Some restaurants even post their menu online for the convenience of their patrons.

Do Not Leave Home Hungry
One of the biggest mistakes a traveler can make is to leave for a flight without eating a meal. Willpower is at its lowest when a person is hungry. Always eat a light meal a few hours prior to departure to stave off those hunger cravings that lead to unhealthy eating.

Drink Water
Water and other clear liquids help avoid dehydration that commonly occurs when flying. Drink plenty of water prior to arriving at the airport and then sip some during the waiting time before the flight departs. Herbal tea and other caffeine-free drinks keep the body hydrated before and during a flight. Avoid alcoholic and carbonated beverages that tend to cause dehydration.

Choose Restaurants Carefully
If the airline does not provide an in-flight meal, it is important to choose an airport restaurant that serves healthy light meals and dine before departure. Choose grilled or steamed meats for protein and a fresh green salad without a heavy dressing. Boarding a flight after a heavy meal is as harmful as skipping a meal during a flight. Since digestion is more difficult at 35,000 feet, strive to eat a low fat meal to avoid gastric discomfort during the flight.

Think with Your Head and Not Your Stomach
The aroma of many different foods wafting through the airport can be tempting for hungry travelers, but the temptation can be overcome by being armed with a plan for eating healthy. Carry trail mix, fruit, protein bars or other healthy snacks in a bag with easy access. This prevents purchasing unhealthy items on impulse.

Exercise Instead of Snacking
Taking a walk around the airport helps digest food already eaten and prevents stopping for an ice cream cone or other snack along the way. Stroll at a leisurely pace, but keep walking for several minutes. This makes waiting much easier and prepares the body to sit for a long period of time while in flight. It also helps prevent boredom, which can lead to unhealthy snacking.

Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet while traveling can be difficult. However, once these practices are implemented and it becomes habit, you will certainly feel better and have more energy! Even once at your destination eating healthy can be quite difficult. Hotels are finally coming around and are beginning to offer more organic and healthy options. Larger cities such as New York City, a place that millions travel to each year, are at the forefront of healthy eating options. It is important for others to follow suit and offer healthier food and drink options.  

– Cole Millen

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