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Get The Best Advice To Help You Stick To Your Diet While Traveling

Inflammation Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

There’s nothing like traveling. The new sights and sounds, amazing things to do, great people to meet, and lots of tasty foods to try. But, the last one can be a problem for those who want to maintain their health. It isn’t uncommon for people to return from their travels with extra weight. So, you need tips that will help you stick to your diet while traveling. Keep reading to find out more about these easy and effective ideas!

Tips to Help You Stick to Your Diet While Traveling

If you want to maintain your health while traveling, you need to get some strategies ahead of time. Here are a few quick tips to help you stick to your diet while traveling:

Drink Lots of Water

If you're thirsty you may mistakenly think that you're hungry. This can lead to overeating, especially when you're traveling and are more active than usual. So, to help you stick to your diet while traveling, make sure to maintain your water intake. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can also help with portion control.

Don’t Go Overboard

Holidays are a time to relax, not to increase your stress levels. It's easy to start worrying about how to stick to your diet while traveling. This worry about your food choices when you’re on holiday can ruin it and also give you added stress. Mistakes and slip-ups with your diet are likely to happen when you’re away. Instead of worrying, just move on and try to do better next time.

Pack Snacks

Sometimes, there aren’t healthy meals available to help you stick to your diet while traveling. In these situations, you can either eat unhealthy food, or you can anticipate this fact and have alternatives ready. Whatever type of traveling you’re doing; you can pack snacks. You can eat them on the plane, during a long drive, or late at night at your destination when there’s only fast food available. Some healthy snack foods to consider are:

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Hummus

Have Cheat Meals

Sometimes, you want to go to that famous restaurant and eat that overpriced, decadent dessert. And you should! But, don’t do it every day and for every meal. One of the best ideas to help you stick to your diet while traveling is to have cheat meals, where you can indulge. And the rest of the time, look for healthy, balanced choices. This will stop you from feeling deprived while also protecting you against any weight gain.

Choose Your Treats Carefully

When you travel, it’s tempting to eat all the decadent food items that you encounter. Most of the time, these options are full of calories, sugar, and preservatives and don't taste very good. Instead, be selective. Choose dishes you love or famous treats in the region you’re visiting. The taste and experience need to be worth the extra sugar and calories.

Always Plan Your Meals

An image of a man planning his meals out in a notebookMost of the time that you make poor food choices, it’s because you haven’t planned and you have no other choices. Avoid this by planning your meals ahead of time. Look up famous restaurants you want to visit and explore food options at the attractions you want to visit. Check restaurant menus online for healthy food choices. Another great idea is to buy fresh ingredients at local supermarkets. You can get a few healthy, balanced meals there for a fraction of the cost in a restaurant.

All of these ideas will help you stick to your diet while traveling. This is important for your overall health, and even more important if you have adrenal fatigue and you are trying to avoid stress.

How Stress Can Lead to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)

Stress is the primary cause of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Stress activates the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. This system will create changes throughout the body to cope with these stressful periods. However, this stress response is only meant to be active for short periods. Because of the many ongoing stressors in the modern world, the NEM stress response can become exhausted. When this occurs, the adrenal glands are overworked in trying to keep up with the high demand for cortisol. If the situation continues, the adrenal glands can become fatigued. This combination of problems can cause issues within your body.

When you have AFS, it’s important to avoid sources of stress. So, that’s why it’s important to make every effort to stick to your diet while traveling. One of the circuits that becomes unbalanced when you have AFS is the Inflammation Circuit. This circuit consists of the immune system, microbiome, and the gut and it's designed to help your body get and stay healthy. But when the natural function of the circuit becomes disrupted by AFS, chronic inflammation can occur, and this can cause harm to your body.

The Importance of a Healthy Diet to The Function of The Inflammation Circuit

A poor diet is a common cause of stress in the modern world. Too many sugary and processed foods can result in nutritional deficiencies. They can also upset the natural balance of the gut, causing imbalances in its microbiome. This, in turn, generates an overgrowth of bad bacteria and digestive issues. When this occurs, the immune system will respond, increasing inflammation to rid your body of toxins. This will not only increase your body’s stress load, but it will also further tax the adrenal glands and cause the three systems in the Inflammation Circuit to lose their natural balance. That’s why a healthy diet is extremely important when you have AFS.

When you have AFS and Inflammation Circuit imbalances, you can’t just forget your diet when you’re on holiday. Eating a poor diet during this time will increase your stress levels and cause additional inflammation in your body. This could result in a worsening or a return of the AFS symptoms that were alleviated by dietary improvements. That’s why you need to be very careful to stick to your diet while traveling if you have AFS.


If you stick to your diet while traveling you will also come back relaxed and without any extra weight or inflammation. And you can do this without depriving yourself. Half of the fun of traveling is the new foods and you don’t want to miss out on that. The key is moderation, as it is with most things. That means that even when you’re on holiday, you should still make healthy choices whenever possible.

© Copyright 2020 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam's Key Question

If you’re struggling to stick to your diet while traveling, you’re not alone. The availability of new foods and lack of routine can make this a challenge when you’re away from home. However, with a little planning and forethought, you can avoid the holiday weight gain.

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