The evidence is clear — a low carb approach to eating is one of the best ways to improve your glycaemic control. When you’re following this approach to type 2 diabetes remission, it’s still important to enjoy things like travel, eating out, and having fun while reducing the burden of daily diabetes management.
If you’ve got some upcoming travel plans during this period, Defeat Diabetes dietitian Nicole Moore has listed her top 7 hacks for keeping your blood sugars stable while travelling.
1. Stock up with low carb snacks
Low carb snacks are lower in carbs than many other snacks and contain more protein and fat, which helps you to stay satiated and reduce hunger and cravings.
If you know you’ve got some travel upcoming, then the night before, be sure to prepare some low carb travel snacks to stop you from being tempted by the highly processed, sugary foods that are available at the service station or airports.
Some snacks marketed as “low carb” can often contain lots of nasty fillers and seed oils, so it’s best to pack your own. There’s no need to be swayed by crappy servo food or a sugary muffin on a domestic flight.
Try some salted nuts, sugar-free dark chocolate, beef jerky, chopped-up veggies in a ziplock bag, or rolled-up ham or smoked salmon. Or try our Parmesan Chips for something savoury or our Chocolate Bark for something sweet! They only take a jiff to make too!
2. Choose wisely in fast food outlets
If you skipped hack number one, and you don’t have anything pre-packed (we get it, life gets busy), then if you stop at a fast foot outlet, know that you can make some smarter low carb. My top choices would be a naked burger (just ask for a lettuce leaf bun or tell them to hold the bun), a double hotdog (eat the middle and toss the bun), or grilled chicken with a green salad or green veggies.
These options might not be perfect, but they’re low carb and the next best thing to get you through the journey with a good protein hit.
3. Visit the local grocery store
Does your accommodation have a fridge or a kitchen? If yes, great! Find a local shop nearby and stock up. Load your fridge with low carb brekkie ingredients such as coconut, seeds and nuts, a tub of Greek yoghurt, berries, no-sugar nut butters, full-fat cow’s milk or almond milk. Or, for something savoury, try cheese, ham, sausages, bacon or tinned fish.
You’ll now have some healthy low carb options on hand to give you some quick breakfast, snack and lunch options.
Try own delicious Coconut Crunch Granola recipe!
4. Plan your options when eating out
If you don’t have a kitchen or fridge and are relying on eating out for most meals, then try to look at the menus in advance. Planning your choices ahead of time can stop you from making impulsive decisions around what to eat.
If you’re eating out for breakfast, look for eggs, bacon and avocado with no toast. Opt for a full fat cow’s milk latte with no added sugar, and avoid the pancakes and muffins.
When eating out at lunch and dinner, again, you’re looking for protein-based meals such as steak, sustainable grilled fish and seafood. Hold the chips, double the salads, and look for lamb or chicken salads.
Opt out of decadent desserts, but perhaps indulge in some cheese (minus the crackers) or berries and yoghurt after dinner.
5. Meal prep ahead of time
We’re talking about preparing some basic meals here. Try roasting a batch of Dr Brukner’s Muesli before you go away and take it in a storage container for a healthy and convenient breakfast option.
For lunch and dinner options, pre-prepare some Quick Italian Meatballs or Veggie Muffins to keep in your bar fridge and pop in the microwave for a nutritious snack or meal. Doing a little prep work can really be the difference between sticking to your goals or throwing them out the window.
6. Make healthy choices when it comes to enjoying a tipple
Can you drink alcohol when you’re watching your carbs? We’re only human, so yes, you can enjoy a drink while you’re away, but try to make some wiser choices. Avoid beer as it’s high in carbohydrates. White spirits like vodka or gin with soda and a wedge of lime contain zero carbs and are a good choice. Dry white and red wines are also low in carbs. Just be mindful to avoid cocktails, as their mixers are very high in sugar.
7. Go guilt free!
In my experience, clients who go on holiday sometimes fall off the wagon. Then they feel guilty, think it’s too hard, give up, and binge for the rest of the trip.
But the thing is, if you do fall off the wagon, that’s okay! Just because you’ve had a slip-up, you don’t need to totally abandon your goals forever.
Just acknowledge where things came undone and aim to get back on track with your next meal. We’re not perfect, we’re human, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying yourself on holiday.
Hungry for more tips? Our Defeat Diabetes Program has a stack of them, with expert-led videos, 300+ blood glucose lowering recipes, weekly meal plans to take the fuss out of planning and community support to help keep you on track with your goals.