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How toTravel and Stay on Atkins Diet
Eat Great on the Road
Don't let your summer vacation plans sabotage your weight-loss program. You will be exposed to all kinds of temptations out there on the road. Travel in itself can bring on unwanted stress, which can cause unstable blood sugar and cravings for unhealthy foods. Use these tips to navigate the carb-laden landscape.
Don't let travel sabotage your weight-loss program. Here's how to navigate the carb-laden landscape.
You've finally got your act together. You're making terrific progress in changing your eating habits. You know exactly what to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You've emptied your kitchen cabinets of tempting high-carb snacks. Still, that trip coming up next week has you panicked.
Suddenly, you're without your familiar routines and resources. You are not only confronted with temptations you would never let into your house, but also exposed to them precisely when you're most vulnerable. (Just think about those cinnamon buns that perfume every airport.) As if such factors weren't hazardous enough, traveling in and of itself can bring on stress, which in turn causes unstable blood sugar and cravings for unhealthy foods.
Proceed With Caution
So, what do you do? Throw in the towel? Of course not. To succeed with the Atkins Diet, you must make a lifestyle change. That means dealing with every new circumstance in a way that is compatible with your commitment to new eating habits. When it comes to travel, the key to staying on track is a combination of mental and physical preparation.
The following tips should help ensure that you don't leave your progress behind when you take your show on the road:
Think "big picture." Don't use your trip as an excuse to go off the program. Remember, if you continually take detours from your planned route, you'll never reach your destination.
Take it with you. Pack some controlled-carb snack foods, such as 1-ounce portions of cheese in plastic wrap. If you're traveling by car, pack a cooler with cold cuts and cheese or salad. Or stow away a few Atkins bars to use as meal replacements.
Eat first. Start out on the right foot by eating a well-planned, satisfying meal before you depart.
Go a little nuts. Snack on nuts and seeds, which are high in protein and fat. You'll feel more satisfied and in control of your appetite after eating a handful. Go easy on these snack options if you are in the Induction phase, particularly if you find it difficult to lose weight.
Don't skip meals. Tempted to pass on lunch to make better time? Don't do it. Omitting a meal could make you ravenous, out of control and more likely to grab anything edible.
Fly right. If you're on a flight where a meal will be served, call ahead and ask what's on the menu. You can probably find a seafood or chicken salad or another dish you can rework.
Drink up. Consume lots of water, which will help you feel satisfyingly full. But stay away from coffee and diet sodas full of caffeine, which may increase carbohydrate cravings.
Pack your pills. Once one element of your routine gets upset, other good habits tend to slide as well. Even if you make some mistakes with your food choices, staying on your supplements will help you focus on getting back to eating properly.
Speed counts. If you do slip off the program for a day or more, get back on ASAP. The longer you're derailed, the harder it may be to get back on track.
Don't Even Go There
Be ready to compromise without quitting. If you find all your food options are poor, adhere to the program as closely as you can. For example, eat more salad and other vegetables than your usual allowance. That doesn't mean that you might as well eat bread and pasta. It's better to deviate a little than to toss the whole program out the window.
Finally, remember who's boss. You are in control of what goes in your mouth at all times -- even when you're not in your own home. When dining out, ask how things are prepared and give instructions. After all, you're paying for it. Even in a fast-food restaurant, you're entitled to have it your way." Why should some stranger determine the success of your program -- or your health?
Make Fast Food Friendly
Sandwich shops: Chicken or tuna salad is a good choice. Just be sure to pick out any carrots. In sub shops, bring on the turkey, roast beef, cheese and sausage, but try to steer clear of salami, bologna and other meat products preserved with nitrates. Ask for your selection on a plate instead of on a roll, and you're ready to rock.
Burger chains: Sandwiches are usually a good bet. Yes, even the bacon cheeseburger! Just toss the bun. Mayo and mustard are permissible but beware of ketchup, which often contains sugar. Watch out, too, for special sauces, as they also often have sugar in them. Tomato slices and lettuce are fine. Steer clear of anything advertised as "low-fat," a label that often translates to high carb.
Fried-chicken places: Avoid anything barbecued or breaded. Barbecue sauce is typically full of sugar and even if you remove the skin, the sugar has probably seeped into the meat. Dry-rubbed meats are fine, as are roasted chicken and allowed side dishes such as salad. If there's a grilled chicken filet sandwich available, grab it! Discard the bun, and you've got a pretty good selection. Or scrape the breading off a fried chicken breast and dig in!
Salad bars: Here you'll find the choices you need for a nutritious meal. Use olive oil and regular red- or white-wine vinegar instead of a prepared dressing; commercial dressings and balsamic vinegars often contain sugar. Baked stuffed potatoes are an absolute no-no.
Unless you're starving, avoid Mexican-style restaurants, pizza parlors, doughnut shops and yogurt/ice-cream parlors.
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