Let’s face it, airlines aren’t exactly known for their fine dining choices; and in many cases the on-board food is also filled with fat and calories. And to add insult to injury, passengers now have to pay for these unhealthy food items. Says Candy Harrington, author of Eating Well on the Road; A Travel Writer’s Strategy for Weight Loss, Healthy Living and Lifestyle Changes, “Finding something healthy to eat when you fly is one of the biggest dietary challenges when you’re the road. It can be done, but it takes a lot of advance planning.”
With that in mind, here are Candy’s tips for reigning in the calories when you take to the friendly skies.
- Pack your own food from home for the flight. Avoid anything liquid or liquid-like, as it won’t make it past security.
- Make a healthy wrap and stick it in your carry on. Wraps travel better than sandwiches, and they are easy to eat on the run.
- Take along some healthy snacks, like celery and carrot sticks or even an apple or an orange.
- On your return trip, pack along half of your dinner from the previous night. Not only will it give you a tasty in-flight meal, but it also helps cut your calories on both days.
- Stop at Subway and pick up a sandwich on the way to the airport. They have a number of healthy choices on their Fresh Fit menu. Skip the condiments, as they will make the sandwich soggy and add extra calories and sodium.
- If the flight offers a meal service, request a low-fat, low-calorie, low-sodium or diabetic meal in advance.
- Stay away from the snack boxes that are sold on most flights, as they are chock full of calories, fat and sodium.
- Google your connecting airport to see what food choices are available. Figure out in advance where you can have the healthiest meal.
- Manchu Wok, Taco Bell and Quizno’s — which offer a number of healthy choices — are available at many airports. Seek them out whenever possible.
- Remember to drink a lot of water when you fly. It will fill you up and keep you hydrated. Take an empty water bottle with you and fill it up after you pass through the security checkpoint.
- Last but not least, avoid the Cinnabon stand at the airport. No matter how tempting it seems, the Cinnabon Classic roll contains 880 calories, 36 grams of fat and 830 mg. sodium. There are better choices — even at the airport.