3 Tips for Staying On Track While Traveling

staying on track while travelingOne of my concerns I have when traveling is “How do I stay on track and not lose too much ground while still enjoying my trip?”

You don’t want to always go on vacation and feel like you have to limit yourself, but I think it’s just a game of give and take and making smart choices.

I recently traveled back to Chicago to visit family and friends… The nice thing is my husband and I stayed at my dad’s and stepmom’s, so we could get a couple things from the store and not be eating out all the time.  They actually eat pretty healthy too (big help!) so they have tons of veggies, fruit, and lean meats.

But here is the problem – what do you do when you are out and about?

That’s why I put this short and helpful post together – to give you 3 tips and tricks for staying on track while traveling (but still enjoying some of those foods you love).

Tip #1: Always Have Something on Hand

Always having a healthy option either in your purse, in the car or something you fit in your pocket.

Having something with you to help curb those cravings goes a long way and you won’t be tempted to do something you might regret later.

Travel-Friendly Foods

Pop Chips – These are so amazing and better yet, they should have them at every major grocery store so they shouldn’t be hard to find. PopChips are made with real ingredients and have half the amount of fat of fried chips. In all reality, you could eat a whole bag and you’d probably would be good 🙂popchips2The flavors they have are sea salt, barbeque, sea salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion (those you can usually find at any store) , cheddar and sour cream, sweet potato (OMG are those good!), nacho cheese (probably my favorite), veggie and many more… To find your favorite flavor near you, visit the PopChips website.

Quest Bars – These are a life saver… Oh, and so delicious! The great thing is that most Quest Bars are under 200 calories with at least 20 grams of protein, so it’s a great thing to just grab and go. You can find these at GNC, some grocery stores and even some gas stations.smores2

Some great flavors include: S’mores (my absolute favorite!), chocolate chip cookie dough, double chocolate chunk, and apple pie, just to name a few. The latest bar that just came out is a mint chocolate chip (which I can’t wait to try… my husband not so much as he isn’t a fan of mint).


Apples – Apples are such a great snack to have… They’re light and refreshing, but surprisingly filling.

Stock up on these if you’re staying with someone or even in a hotel. You can leave them out or put them in the fridge (as I like to do).

Coffee and Water – This one isn’t too hard for me… I would drink coffee all day if I could, but there is something about coffee that can really help with the cravings and – added bonus – you get a decent amount of caffeine from it that will help you get through those busy travel days!

Drinking a full glass of water before any meal or even when you just feel hungry will help fill you up… Plus, drinking water throughout the day will help flush out any bad stuff you might have had. Just keep things moving!

Tip #2: Make “Healthy” (Read: Better) Fast Food Choices

I don’t really eat fast food anymore (except Chipotle, of course – if that’s considered “fast food”), but there are a few options out there that are pretty good if you’re in a jam and need something filling and healthier (compared to other foods).


Grilled Chicken Ranch Snack Wrap –  290 Calories, 13 g. Fat, 25 g. Carbohydrates, 18 g. Protein.
Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 360 Calories, 6 g. Fat, 43 g. Carbohydrates, 32 g. Protein.
Premium McWrap Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken – 400 Calories, 10 g. Fat, 47 g. Carbohydrates, 31 g. Protein.

Chipotle (always my go-to)

Chicken Burrito Bowl w/ chicken, white rice, pinto beans, fresh tomato salsa, and shredded cheese – 600 Calories, 19 g Fat, 61 g Carbohydrates, 49 g Protein.
Steak Burrito Bowl w/steak, white rice, pinto beans, hot salsa, and shredded cheese – 620 Calories, 19 g Fat, 62 g Carbohydrates, 46 g Protein.
Steak Tacos (3) with Corn tortillas ( steak, cheese and hot salsa) – 530 Calories, 14 g Fat, 52 g Carbohydrates, 39 g Protein.

Naf Naf Grill (if you have this near you… you have to try it!) FullSizeRender (70)I had this when I was back in Chicago and it was fantastic… So flavorful, filling and packed with protein.

I ordered a bowl with basmati rice, steak shawarma, chopped salad, purple cabbage and tahini sauce – 483 Calories, 18 g Fat, 35 g Carbohydrates, 53 g Protein.

…Just to name a few

Tip #3: Pick and Choose

I feel like part of the fun of traveling – at least for me – is enjoying some great food! That said, it’s easy to let things get out of control (it can happen real fast!), so the best thing to do is to go in with a game plan… This works especially great if you have someone doing it alongside of you.

For example, in Chicago my husband and I both felt the same way: we have goals and we don’t want a week-long vacation to blow it out of the water for us, only to get home and feel like we lost a lot of ground. So, we decided before we even got there that we’d go and get some PopChips, Quest Bars and make sure we have both on hand to help make better choices.

It worked out great… but of course I had to enjoy a slice (or two) of that Chicago deep dish.IMG_5283

I don’t think you should feel guilty about that. Sure, you may not be at your calorie deficit for the day, but it’s way better than having a frappuccino from Starbucks in the morning with a blueberry muffin, then go out for lunch and have a beef sandwich from Portillo’s with fries, and then having that deep dish… After all that, you might feel pretty awful by the end of trip and have a bit of work to do.

I am in no way an expert, just someone on a journey to bettering my body, health and life. These are some tips that really help me stay on track and I hope they can help you.

I would love to hear some tips from you! I’m always looking for fast, easy and healthy options 🙂


EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website CookingUpHappiness.com in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness - Cruise

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.