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Holiday Travel: A Weighting Game | Nov. 23, 2011

Does holiday travel leave you feeling tired and heavy?  You are not alone.  An estimated 42.5 million Americans will travel this holiday season.  During the holidays, shopping, packing and traveling to and from holiday destinations are top priorities.  Eating often becomes an afterthought, leading to unhealthy food choices while on the run.


Healthy eating may not be at the top of the list during the holiday traveling season, but calories consumed at fast food restaurants, coffee shops or other convenience locations tend to be high in calories, fat and sugar.  Reaching for on-the-go foods while traveling can lead to high calorie consumption.  Even adding a few meals or snacks from fast food restaurants or convenience stops can add several hundred extra calories to your diet each day.  Over the course of holiday travel, these extra calories add up and result in weight gain.


Some fast food menu items can provide nearly a day’s worth of calories in one meal.  Several popular coffee beverages contain more than 70 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of more than 17 teaspoons of sugar!  Consuming foods high in calories, fat and sugar can leave you feeling tired and un-energized


Don’t play the weighting game this holiday season.  Choose low fat, low sugar foods during your travels by spending a few minutes before your trip planning out snacks and meals to bring along.  The healthy, simple ideas below will keep your family feeling energized and on track for a healthy holiday season.

Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies are healthy, no mess options.  They won’t leave crumbs in the car or on the plane, and the fiber found in these foods will help keep you full.
  • Apples, bananas, pears, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots are simple to pack and easy to eat.



  • Whole grain crackers or granola bars provide fiber, vitamins and minerals for sustained energy throughout your travels.
  • Packets of instant oatmeal, or your favorite healthy cereals, help you avoid those high calorie quick breakfasts like doughnuts, scones and muffins



  • Beef jerky and nuts are protein sources that will keep you full on the go.  Nuts contain healthy fatty acids, protein and fiber.  A one ounce serving of almonds, cashews, peanuts or mixed nuts is a great snack between meals.  Toss in dried fruit pieces for homemade trail mix.
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are healthy, inexpensive meal options.


  • Water, 100 percent (no sugar added) juices and plain coffee or tea are excellent beverage options.  They are low in calories and don’t add extra fat or sugar to meals.

Safe travels and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!