Take Your Diet on the Road
Traveling doesn't have to land you in fat city
Airport Advice continued...
If you're on one of the increasingly rare flights that serves food, order a
vegetarian meal, says NYU nutritionist Samantha Heller. You can also call ahead
of time and advise the airline of any special dietary needs you have.
Eating out in restaurants presents its own challenges, says Steinback, but
they, too, can be managed. Here are a few suggestions:
- Ask for substitutions. Choose salad, fruit, rice, or a baked potato instead
of chips, fries, or coleslaw.
- Pay attention to what you choose on the salad bar. A salad soaked in oily
or creamy dressing can be more fattening than a Big Mac and fries.
- Order half-portions, or share an entrÃ©e with someone else at your
- Eat only what tastes great. Don't waste calories on foods you can live
- Order a large side dish and a small entrÃ©e, or several healthy-choice
appetizers instead of an entrÃ©e.
- Skip anything called "smothered," "crispy," crusted,"
- Don't order dessert right after finishing your meal. If you wait a few
minutes, you may find you're not as hungry for it as you thought.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
What do you do if you're visiting friends or family? There are ways to
negotiate meals -- even holiday meals -- when you're in someone else's home,
says Samantha Heller.
It's always a good idea to (gently) remind the hosts of your dietary needs.
If possible, offer to prepare a dish yourself so you have control over at least
one item on the menu.
If that's not possible, pay close attention to the food choices you make,
and watch your portions.
At a holiday dinner, for example, eat veggies or shrimp cocktail for hors
d'oeuvres and leave the cheese cubes or mini-quiches alone. Choose white-meat
turkey and skip the skin (even if it is the best part!). Sample the stuffing if
you want -- the operative word being "sample." And don't necessarily
skip the pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A and is good for you; the
whipped cream and the crust are not. So eat a sliver of the filling and leave
the rest on your plate.
"And if you must self-medicate to deal with all those relatives,"
Heller says (we all know what she's talking about, don't we?), choose a light
beer or a wine spritzer instead of the eggnog or something harder.