Eating out is a great way to explore new cuisines and get to know the cities you’re visiting a lot better. It can also be tough on your waistline and put any dreams you have of balancing healthy habits with trying out new restaurants by the wayside. While you may not be able to get perfectly balanced nutrition when traveling, there are a few tips and tricks you can look to for advice on how to curtail imbibing too many calories when far from home. People who have been diligently watching their weight for years following a few simple rules when traveling that allow them to have the best of local, regional cuisine while shunning empty calories. Here are a few ways to help you explore the world and choose the right restaurant every time you travel.
Skip the Buffet
One rule experienced travelers interested in maintaining good health keep in mind is to simply skip the buffet. Sure, an open buffet with the “all you can eat” slogan sounds appealing, but it’s usually a bad idea. Not only are the foods typically featured in a buffet generic, pre-heated slop, they’re also full of empty calories. Also, they trick your mind into eating more than you normally would, just so that you fool yourself into thinking you’re getting your money’s worth. What’s worse is that food served at room temperature is usually an open field for bacteria to thrive, so it’s not a good idea for a number of reasons. If your only option when traveling is to hit the local buffet, then be sure to quickly scan the items available and decide what you’ll choose to add to your plate beforehand. Also, you can stick to the safer options, like fruits and vegetables, some lean proteins and whole grains should be a safe bet.
Beware Overrated Continental Breakfasts
When traveling to beautiful locales such as Gettysburg, you’re usually far from the famous Philadelphia-oriented specialties like Philly Cheese Steak. You’re probably stuck in a hotel or bed and breakfast out in the country – which can be absolutely fine since many have trained chefs at their establishments. However, whenever you visit a hotel anywhere in the world that comes with complimentary continental breakfasts, then you should exercise caution. It’s best to grab some yogurt and fruit and leave most of your appetite for exploring the best restaurants in Gettysburg a few hours later. Continental breakfasts not only lack flavor and variety, but they tend to be full of sugar. Expect wan and overly large muffins, sad-looking croissants, and an omelet station that leaves plenty to be desired. If the breakfast options happen to include whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk, then go ahead. If not, then you’re better off grabbing breakfast from another establishment nearby.
Go Off the Beaten Path
If you’re interested in a unique experience that will allow you to learn more about a country’s culture, while getting access to healthy, home-cooked food, then you can try searching for supper clubs. These homey establishments are a bit off the beaten path, but they are definitely worth exploring if you would like to get to know a young and talented chef, meet new people, and also get some fresh healthy food cooked in small batches. At the end of the day, it can be hard to know where major restaurants get their food, how fresh it is – especially when they need to cook in bulk – and so on. A supper club is a cool way to learn about a different cuisine, meet interesting people, and still enjoy food without eating a lot of empty calories.
A typical restaurant menu will include appetizers, salads, side dishes, and then, of course, a section devoted to entrées. If you’re watching your weight, or have other health concerns to attend to, then allow yourself to take some time with the menu. Review the offerings, and remember that you can eat whatever you want, but with the proper portion control. For example, if you want mac and cheese, you can order it as a side as opposed to it being the main event. With a salad or an appetizer of sautéed brussel sprouts, you’ve managed to create a healthy, balanced meal.
Eating out while traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s no reason to deprive yourself of trying a new restaurant if you’re worried about your health. There’s always a way to balance these concerns and allow yourself to indulge, while still taking in the proper nutrition.