It’s so hard to avoid gaining weight when you travel. It’s also really difficult to travel when you’re dieting – or to diet when you’re on the road. I know, because I’ve tried many times and failed miserably.

When you’re trapped in airports and airplanes, the food choices are terrible, and you never know when or even if you’ll find anything edible.

The ultimate solution is not to diet at all. You can get off the diet roller coaster and lose weight effortlessly, and my new book explains how: 2 Day Gift of Wellness: Effortless Weight Loss that You Can Do Together, is available now on, or you can get 2 free chapters.

But you need to know right away, without waiting until you read my book (no matter how good it may be ). So here are 4 tips that you can put into action for your next trip.

Tip 1: Eat when you are hungry. One of the 8 principles of the Ultimate diet Process (called UdP in my book) is to eat when you are hungry. It seems obvious, but most people eat when they are stressed, eat at a particular time (noon), eat when food is available, or eat when they are tired.

The key is to know the difference between when you feel hungry and when you are hungry. No matter what you have heard, feelings are not real, especially when it comes to eating.

When the travel day begins, and you start to feel hungry, you should take a quick inventory of the moment. Are you feeling hungry because someone is cooking, or you see a box of donuts? Is it an eating habit, such as your lunch time, or because you usually eat a snack at this time? You will get to know what cues come from your body, and which come from your mind.

If you conclude you are hungry, then eat ─ period.  If you think you are only feeling hungry, don’t eat. Distract yourself by taking a walking around. Let your mind wonder to questions of what makes you happy or what you can do to improve your wellness.  At the end of the walk, check in with yourself to see if you are still hungry. Probably not.

Shouldn’t you eat breakfast before you leave? Breakfast has been touted as the most important meal of the day. Studies don’t back that up. What I often hear is that if you don’t eat breakfast, you will be really hungry later. Eating breakfast when you’re not hungry is the most common error of the “eat when you’re hungry rule.” I don’t normally eat until after noon. The corollary to eating when you are hungry is not eating when you are not hungry.

Tip 2: Bring food from home. The two most common reasons for eating poorly at the airport is the lack of high quality food, or not having enough time to eat well. Bringing nutritious food with you is the answer. Carry food that doesn’t require refrigeration, such as fruit or hard boiled eggs. IMPORTANT: make sure it’s food you enjoy.

Tip 3: Mind what you eat. This tip could also be called “do your homework.” Eating mindfully means thinking about what your brain decides to put into your body. To a large degree, the body doesn’t care. After all, protein is protein. But you need to pay attention to what you eat. You have to recognize when you are truly hungry, and then decide if you’ll have an apple, or an apple tart.

Few airport restaurants have calories listed on the menus, so Google the airport ahead of time (or while you’re there) and find the restaurants available in your terminal. Most restaurants have online menus with ingredients and calories.

Plan your travel menu and buy your food to go in case you are not hungry when you’re at the airport, or don’t have time to eat. This trick keeps you faithful to tip #1: eat when you are hungry.

Tip 4: Unfriend Stress. When your body is under stress, it is under attack. When it’s under attack, your body stores fat. If you reduce stress for the long term, you reduce your body’s desire to store fat as a “rainy day fund.” As I already mentioned, many people stress eat. This is a double whammy. They eat when their stressed and their body stores fat under stress.

Reducing the stress of traveling begins the day before you leave. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Prepare nutritious snacks for your travel day. That day, get up early and meditate. Thirty minutes of meditating to clear your mind of worries helps start the day off right.

On the road, give everyone you meet, especially the ticket agents, the benefit of the doubt. They really aren’t there to ruin your day.

Remember, eat when you are hungry (don’t eat when you are not hungry), bring food from home, mind what you eat on the road, and defriend stress. That’s the ticket to happy and health travels – without weight gain!

Your co-pilot to a healthy live,

Dr. Michael

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