Easiest Ways to Stay Keto While Traveling (Printable Dining Out Guide)
All of the best tips to stay keto while traveling! If you are on a keto diet or are thinking about starting one, you have likely had the thought about how hard it could be to stick to such a rigorous diet while you are taking a road trip or going on a vacation.
While the ketogenic diet can take some imagination and a bit of planning, we will show you how to utilize grocery stores, gas stations, packable keto snacks and some special requests at restaurants to stay in ketosis.
A high-fat diet is possible while traveling on long flights of air travel, road trips, hotel room stays when a long way from home. Below are some of the top tips for sticking to a low carb diet and enjoying yourself on vacation.
Is It Possible To Eat Keto While Traveling or On Vacation?
It is absolutely possible to eat keto while traveling or on vacation. The most important thing to remember about a keto diet is that it is high in fats and proteins and very low in carbohydrates. So, the best way to maintain your keto diet while out of your usual routine is to make sure to avoid carbs. But, how do you stay true to the keto way when we live in a world of high carbs?
Since you are doing your research on keeping up keto while traveling, you are probably already pretty vigilant about your carb intake, but it is even more important on vacation as you can be tempted by restaurants or fast food. Below we will cover some essential tips to maintain your keto diet on your travels.
How To Eat Keto On Vacation or on Road Trips
Keto Travel Tip 1 – Pack Keto Friendly Food
The best way to keep up your keto diet while traveling is to have several snacks throughout the day, as you would normally do at home. This keeps your hunger down and leaves you less likely to want to cheat if you have some delicious keto snacks. Packing keto-friendly snacks also takes the guesswork out of what you can and can’t eat while in the car, exploring your vacation destination, or just hanging out on the beach somewhere.
If you pack keto foods to keep you nourished throughout your day, you won’t have to worry about going to a local grocery store while you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and you won’t get so hungry while skipping snacks or meals that you ruin your own vacation. The keto foods you purchase or prepare ahead of time will keep your energy up and help to keep you burning fats while you relax. Here are some ideas that won’t take a lot of work.
Keto Travel Tip 2 – Great Keto Travel Snack Ideas
Keto Travel Tip 3 – The Best Keto Snacks To Find at Convenience Stores
When on road trips, stopping at a convenience store for gas and restroom break is almost always inevitable. There are way too many opportunities to grab a sweet treat or other junk food full of carbs that would ruin ketosis for you.
Rather, seek out the great options of keto-friendly foods like these with a little planning. Some of the best keto foods can surprisingly be found at stores not even considered a health food store. It’s possible to find foods with healthy fats without added sugars!
Keto Travel Snacks
- Macadamia nuts is a good choice
- Brazil nuts
- Pork Rinds
- Beef jerky
- String cheese
Keto Travel Tip 4 – Ordering Keto in Restaurants
First, check the menu for keto-friendly meals, or they may be labeled low-carb options. The keto lifestyle is pretty popular right now, so it’s possible they already have some keto options such as a lettuce wrapped cheeseburger or lettuce wraps in place of buns and bread.
If they don’t have any good options already on the menu, a good way to create your own keto meal is to request substitutions for the carbs. Simply omitting common side dishes like rice and potatoes could probably easily be replaced with veggies.
Salad bars at restaurants are also an easy way to keep your net carbs down by filling your plate full of fresh veggies. Other ideas could be asking for a cheese plate, tuna salad or chicken salad.
Having a well thought out eating plan ahead of time will help you stick to your keto meal plan.
Is Dirty Keto Okay While Traveling?
Dirty keto is referred to as a keto diet that only focuses on the low carb, high protein, and high-fat portions of the diet without paying any attention to the nutrient and overall essential health aspects of eating a keto diet. Dirty keto is a version of the diet that subsists off of processed and generally nutrient-lacking meals.
Dirty keto may be okay for those who are traveling and don’t have the means of accessing food of their usual standards and nutritional quality, but dirty keto should not be implemented in the long term, as it has potential health risks.
Is It Unhealthy to Go In and Out of Ketosis When Traveling?
Going in and out of ketosis is a fairly new aspect of the diet known as “keto-cycling”. This means your body will be in ketosis, and you’ll follow the keto diet for a certain period of time, and then for a shorter period, you will introduce healthy carbs and other nutrients.
There is not a lot of information or research is done to discuss the risks or benefits of this style of keto diet, so it should be done with caution, as all keto diets should be done.
Keto itself is great for weight loss and even situations such as epilepsy, but should be done under the supervision of a dietician or a doctor, as you have to go through an adjustment period for your body to begin burning fat for fuel and it must be done in a healthy way to avoid any damage to muscles such as the heart.
21 Day Keto Meal Plan ONLY with Macros: 1500-1700 Calories
Use this complete keto meal plan to help get into ketosis for weight loss. Every meal planned out for you for 3 weeks. Rotate every 3 weeks as long as you need.
Some benefits discussed for keto cycling, state that this version of the diet may actually help to increase muscle growth while burning off fat, and may be a better option for sticking to the keto diet in the long term.
What Happens If I Stop Eating Keto on Vacation?
If you stop eating keto while you are on vacation, it’s not the end of the world. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it but you should think and create a plan of action for getting back on the diet and the consequences that come with that.
The “keto-flu” is the transition period that your body must go through until it begins to burn fat for energy. So, this is something to consider if you plan to be off of the diet for more than a few days.
You can stay keto while traveling!
As long as you are prepared with a smart meal plan and healthy keto options, you can avoid the temptations of restaurant foods or sweets that would take you out of ketosis.
It is also important to remember that if you do have a cheat day or two, just create a plan to get back on the diet. Your best bet would be to continue to eat a healthy whole foods diet that allows you to burn fat while staying healthy.
So, you see even without preparing your own meals, but packing keto travel snacks and with a little planning, it will be possible to stay in ketosis while traveling. Don’t worry about your next trip with these tips and tricks!
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling (7 Easy Tips To Stay In Shape)
It can be difficult to eat healthy while traveling, especially on a fast-paced adventure abroad, with limited food options. Even the most experienced globetrotters among us would admit that it’s a challenge to stay on top of your diet whilst away.
The key is to plan ahead, stay disciplined and pick foods that are easily available, easily prepared and packed with fiber and nutrients!
Even though its a challenge, the juice is worth the squeeze. Eating healthy while traveling will ensure you feel energized and engaged in all the activities you are doing. A hearty breakfast and nutritious lunch will help you avoid the dreaded mid-afternoon energy slump!
In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly how to do this with 7 tips, tricks, and hacks that really work.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling: I Learned The Hard Way
Step up your fruits and veggies!
I’ve traveled a lot over the last few years. As someone who likes to stay healthy and maintain a balanced diet at home, I assumed I would be able to continue this on the road.
I soon found out that it’s far too easy to get caught up in the exciting whirlwind of travel and to begin to neglect your diet. Especially when ingredients, free time, and access to a kitchen are hard to come by.
Over time I developed some tricks to eat healthy while traveling which you can consider when you plan your trip. Let’s get stuck in with these easy healthy eating travel tips.
1. Pack Healthy Snacks
Head to the grocery store before/during your trip with an extensive list of healthy snack options. I like to cram my backpack full!
This helps avoid salty and sugary snacks, save money and take the first step toward eating healthy while traveling.
Which Snacks Should You Take?
Generally speaking, you should eat a healthy diet packed full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
A diet rich in healthy fats, nutrients, fiber, and complex carbs will lead to steady energy release, good digestion, and healthy body function.
I’ve come up with a few options to get you started.
Packaged or ‘non-perishable’ foods are excellent to take traveling, as they don’t require a refrigerator or cooler and there are plenty of healthy options.
- Nuts and seeds – nuts are high in protein and good fats and – as with the fruit and veggies – nice and easy to eat on the go. Avoid salted nuts!
- Dried fruit or fresh fruit kept cool.
- Apple slices with some peanut butter.
- Jerky – jerky is a great source of protein and easy to store as it doesn’t require refrigeration. You can often buy it in serving-sized packets.
- Protein bars/Granola bars/Whole wheat crackers/Rice cakes – all make great snacks.
- Cucumber/carrot slices with hummus ( often in convenience stores)
- Sandwiches made with wholegrain bread. avoid processed meats and cheese, opt for tuna mayo or crushed avocado and chickpea.
Healthy Foods That Require a Cooler
- Fruit and Veggies – pre-chop your fruit and veggies into bite-size chunks before you leave on your trip. That way they will be accessible and easy to eat. Berries are great as they’re already bitesize!
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Salads containing grains and colorful veg.
Why take snacks?
With an armory of healthy snacks at your side, you can eat something nutritious every few hours.
When you’re excessively hungry, greasy and unhealthy food seems like a better option to your brain SOURCE. Eating a healthy snack to keep hunger locked away is a great method for preventing this.
Fruit is packed full of nutrients
Taking a road trip? Check out our extensive article with a full list of healthy road trip food.
2. Eat Little and Often
Not eating for long periods of time (which is very easily done when on the move), is a recipe for making an unhealthy food choice. It’s when we’re at our hungriest that we are more likely to pick something unhealthy.
I can also say from my own experience that if I wait until I’m ravenous then I’m more likely to head for the fast-food counter.
Help Maintain a Stable Blood Sugar Level
According to WebMD, eating little and often (as long as it’s healthy food) keeps your metabolism working. It also helps keep your blood sugar level stable. This maintains constant energy levels and is good for overall health.
3. Eat (A Healthy) Breakfast
Healthy Breakfast – Great start to the day
OK, you might be reading this thinking, well, duh? Who doesn’t eat breakfast? And if so, kudos to you.
However, many of us travelers often find it hard to cram in the time for breakfast. It’s far too easy to neglect this important meal when consumed with the chaos of travel.
As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make the effort to eat a healthy option and start the day on the right track. This seriously helps in your quest to eat healthy while traveling.
The Benefit of Breakfast
WebMD tells us that breakfast gets your metabolism going and helps you to burn calories. What’s more, breakfast helps restore your blood sugar level (which your body needs to make your muscles and brain work) as this is usually low when you first wake up.
What to Eat for Breakfast
Avoid foods that are high in sugar and bad fats, such as donuts and muffins, regardless of how convenient they are. These types of foods won’t do you any good in your quest to maintain your healthy diet on the road.
A few easy breakfast examples to help you eat healthy while traveling:
- Porridge with fruit or a bit of honey
- Wholegrain toast with peanut butter and banana
- Wholegrain cereals high in fiber such as all-bran or shredded wheat.
- Baked beans on wholegrain toast ( get the low sugar/salt variety)
- Healthy granola with added nuts, almond/low-fat milk, and berries.
Booking Accommodation with Breakfast Included
Free breakfast makes a massive difference to the value of a hotel/hostel booking so always check if it’s included and try to start the day with a good meal.
Try to stay disciplined and avoid cramming in the muffins at the free breakfast! Opt for the muesli or porridge if it’s available and perhaps a piece of fruit.
Checking the Breakfast Offering
If the hotel/hostel site doesn’t specify, use TripAdvisor and Yelp to check out reviews. You can search specifically for breakfast within the reviews to get an idea of how healthy the offering is.
4. Drink Enough Water
Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is super important for body function including nutrient transportation, energy levels, and temperature regulation. This is especially true in hot climates. You need to drink a lot if you want to eat healthy while traveling.
The Benefits Of Water vs Other Drinks
Not only does drinking water prevent dehydration, but it helps fight fatigue which can be a mood killer on long journeys.
It does this without adding unwanted calories to your diet.
It’s much better to drink water than other drinks, particularly those high in sugar such as energy drinks and soft drinks. These have no nutritional value, are full of calories which could lead to weight gain.
Dehydration Can Make You Feel Hungry
Finally, drinking water can stop you from prematurely giving into perceived “hunger”. Sometimes we think we’re hungry when actually thirst is a big part of it. Drinking water might prevent you from eating unnecessarily. SOURCE
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The recommended daily amount of water intake (according to the Institute of Medicine) is around 3 liters for a male and a little over 2 liters for a female. However, if you’re in a warm climate or are super active throughout the day, I would recommend drinking at least an extra liter.
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
When traveling in countries with warm climates its easy to sweat during the night.
I try to always drink a glass of water first thing in the morning (no matter how tempting the coffee is!) to avoid dehydration.
Take a Re-Usable Water Bottle
Take reusable water bottles and fill them whenever you get an opportunity (check that where you’re going has drinkable tap water). This will guarantee you stay hydrated and save you from buying plastic water bottles which is not supportive of eco-friendly travel.
Top tip for flying: Remember to fill your water bottle at the airport after passing through security to avoid paying for drinks on the flight.
Want the best airfare deals while you’re at it?
See our article on finding cheap flights.
5. Order Healthy Food at Restaurants
Add vegetables to your restaurant order
Again, this might sound obvious, but it’s far too easy to order something tasty when you’re eating out and forget about the nutritional values.
It’s normal to treat yourself when you eat at a restaurant at home right? The temptation is to do the same when you’re away.
Get Into A Routine Of Healthy Ordering
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself when you’re away. The problem is you might find yourself eating out quite a lot.
If you want to keep eating healthy while traveling, you need to get into the routine of ordering healthy food at restaurants. Let’s say you’re on a long road trip, for example, you don’t want to resort to eating greasy, unhealthy (and overpriced) fast food for every meal.
Order Vegetables With Your Meal
Choose something healthy from the menu, preferably with vegetables.
These are often hard to come by whilst on the road. A restaurant cooking them freshly for you is a great means of getting the vitamins and minerals you need. You could substitute your fries for extra vegetables or salad, for example.
Embrace the Local Culture
When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is to try the local cuisine. As cheesy as it sounds, I thoroughly enjoy experiencing another culture and getting involved with the locals. Food and travel go hand in hand, after all.
When I’m abroad for long periods of time, I make a conscious effort to order the healthier options available to me, while still trying new foods.
Why not enjoy the local specials alongside a vegetable dish?
Research Restaurant Menus and Reviews
Researching restaurants in advance is a smart move. It helps ensure there is something healthy (and tasty) for you to order.
Check the menu for high-fibre options full of veggies and healthy fats.
Check TripAdvisor and Yelp for reviews and pictures from other travelers. These may help to determine if a restaurant has some interesting-looking healthy options.
6. Cook When You Can
Cook healthy and live well
No matter how hard you try, you can never beat home cooking, right? The same can be said for healthy eating; cooking for yourself is often a winner.
Whilst on the road, eating options can sometimes be limited. Preparing your own food can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy diet.
But how do you actually do this?
Booking Accommodation With a Kitchen
Well, for starters, try to book a hotel/hostel/Air BnB with a kitchen. This will allow you to prepare healthier meals.
I always make an effort to book somewhere where I can make my own food, as this helps me maintain as much of my normal routine and eating habits as possible.
Yes, there are healthy options in restaurants. But when you cook your own meals, you know exactly what is in them. You know the nutritional values of the foods you’ve prepared and there are no hidden ingredients such as preservatives, MSG, or excessive oil.
Take a Portable Stove
If you are on a road trip and plan to camp a lot, take a portable gas cooker so you can prepare healthy meals when you arrive.
Cooking your own meals when traveling is often much cheaper as well as healthier. It’s also a great excuse to get down to the local markets and check out the traditional delicacies! This is one of my favorite things to do in a new place.
7. Stay Motivated and Don’t Stress
Trying to eat healthy while traveling is no easy task. I’ve failed a few times.
One of the most important things you can do is to stay motivated, stay disciplined, and simply, don’t stress.
Stress Can Ruin Your Diet And Your Trip
Not only can stress cause digestive problems (it can hinder the breakdown of your food), it also makes for a poor traveling experience when you should be enjoying yourself!
Just do your best to eat healthily and follow these 7 steps.
How to eat healthy while traveling – Your turn
Which tip are you going to try first?
Do you have any more ideas on how to eat healthy while traveling?
Either way, leave a comment below and let us know!
More From The Road Trip Expert
Whilst you’re here…
We have some new Travel Tips articles you might be interested in including an awesome article on how to plan a trip. Feel free to check them out!
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How to Stay On Diet While Traveling
There are many people out there today who travel for work each week. Then there are the hermits who only leave the house when they need groceries. Whichever category you fall into, the tips below will ensure you don’t fall off the wagon with your diet when you decide to leave the comforts of your home. With a little planning and know-how, you can easily make sure you don’t blow your macros through the roof and kill your progress.
1.) Plan ahead by prepping your meals
Do you have a cooler large enough to store several meals? Or to make things even easier and organized, grab a 6 Pack Bag which you can store up to 5 meals depending on the bag you purchase. The nice thing is that these bags come with everything you need. So you’ll get compartments for your silverware, slots to put all your meals with actual containers that seal your food, gel packs that keep your food fresh and cool for 8+ hours, as well as other compartments to store anything else you would need to take with you for your meals—even a place to store your supplements!
So now you have your cooler or bag situation figured out—now what? Meal prep time! Figure out what macros you will need for the day and break them down into the amount of meals you need to eat while you’re out of the house. These meals can be something as simple as chicken with broccoli, steak with sweet potato, or salmon with rice just to give a few examples. Whatever you decide to take, simply prepare all of the food ahead of time and store them in sealable containers until you are ready to leave. When it’s time to go throw them in your cooler or meal prep bag and you’re out the door with healthy meals in hand.
2.) Hit the grocery store if you are out of town for more than a day
This goes along with the section above, but if you are staying in a hotel while traveling, look for a nearby grocery store that would allow you to pick up food for the following day(s). Many hotels either have microwaves in the room or available in the breakfast area near the lobby to allow you to heat things up. Or, if you decide to stay in a hotel that gives you a kitchen right in your room that’s even easier. Either way, find food that you can prepare based off what’s available at your hotel to create your meals.
At the store you can purchase items such as:
• rice in a cup that just needs to be microwaved
• individually packaged cups of oatmeal
• already cooked chicken breast or frozen in a bag that needs to be warmed
• lunch meat from the deli
• already prepared hard boiled eggs
• fresh vegetables
• frozen vegetables in a microwaveable steam bag
• fresh fruit
• white or sweet potatoes
• frozen salmon to put in the microwave
• rotisserie chicken that you can pull apart and separate for individual meals
• various nuts
The above is just the tip of the iceberg to give you some ideas. Figure out what macros you need and find the foods that help you hit your daily intake requirements.
3.) If you must hit a fast food chain in a pinch, make smart choices
I get it; we live in a world where everyone is in a rush. Sometimes it feels like we barely have time to breathe let alone sit down to enjoy a nice nutritious meal. But don’t let the rushing around hinder your progress in the gym.
Not everything at fast food chains is terrible for you. In fact, you’d be surprised how many different places you can eat without the guilt of destroying a greasy burger. Have no fear, the choices below are here to give you some ideas to save the day and your diet.
• You can actually purchase a plain grilled chicken breast (or 2) and increase your protein intake for the day
• There are several sides that you can choose from that won’t have you tipping the scale such as their fruit cup, Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup, salads (don’t load up on the junk or dressing added to them), and their superfood side
• If you enjoy salads, their Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad, Southwest Chargrilled Salad, and their Chargrilled & Fruit Salad’s are great options so long as you add a dressing that is low in fat such as a vinaigrette
• Best beverage option would be a bottle of water
• Now that you can eat breakfast all day, an Egg McMuffin is a great choice and if you’re in need of breakfast or a quick pick-me-up add a cup ofcoffee to it
• You can also order a plain grilled chicken breast without the bun to up your protein intake
• For sides their fruit or their side salad would be the best option
• If you are hungry for a salad you won’t feel guilty with their Premium Southwest Salad with grilled chicken (go with a vinaigrette dressing)
• For a beverage stick with a bottle of water
• If you want a sandwich but know that burger isn’t your best option then try an Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich but make sure you get it without mayonnaise
• Skip the fries with anything you are getting and opt for the side salad, plain baked potato, or even their chili
• Looking for something to warm you up on a cold day? Grab a plain baked potato and put a side of chili on top of it
• A great option for a salad would be their Asian Cashew Chicken Salad which is loaded with veggies as well as protein and good fats from the cashews
• Add a bottle of water to the options above and you’re golden
• The flavor that comes along with every meal at Chipotle is enough to blow your mind, but make sure what you include in your meal isn’t going to throw off your daily macros
• A great option is their chicken burrito bowl where you can add vegetables, brown rice, black beans, salsa, and a little bit of guacamole—double the meat to further increase your protein intake
• If you’re in the mood for a salad I’d recommend the chicken, pinto bean, and veggie salad or the hot and cheesy steak salad for a good mix of carbohydrates and protein
• Skip the fountain beverage and get yourself a bottle of water
As you can see, you can pretty much request food to be prepared a certain way or order food without the bun to lower carbohydrates and calories. You also have the flexibility to change your side items from French Fries to a healthier option.
The above was a quick breakdown of some healthy options to consider while you are on the run. Take those principles and apply them to other fast food chains that you might encounter in your travels. Eating “fast food” doesn’t have to be a poor decision or a set-back to your diet. All you need to do is figure out what options you have and how you can order things to fit your requirements.
By utilizing all of the sections above, you’ll never have to feel bad about a business trip or traveling again. By planning ahead and making wise food choices, you can go just about anywhere without staring at your food knowing you’re going to regret eating it. How you decide to set up your meals for the day is up to you (meal prep or eating out), but making sure you stay within your macros is an absolute must. There is no reason to go off the deep end and ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for in the gym. You can’t out-train a poor diet. So make sure you have it on point and the results will follow.