The rising level of obesity across the world is often the consequence of a poor diet & lack of exercise. A balanced serving of protein, carb, fat, vitamins & minerals, every day, makes up for a healthy regime.
But while the body can manage its functions with small quantities of vitamins & minerals which are micronutrients, protein is a macronutrient & the body requires large amounts of. Also, unlike carbs & fat, protein doesn’t get stored in the body; as a result, the body cannot draw the required amount of protein from the reserve. There is evidence that additional protein in the diet may encourage weight loss or weight control, especially for obese individuals.
From building & repairing tissues to fighting against infections, protein is indispensable for the human body.
So, how much protein does the human body need?
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services,
- Teenage boys & active men need about seven ounces or 200 gm from three servings, daily.
- For women, the elderly, and kids between ages 2-6 years need two daily servings of 3 ounces or 142 gm.
- Older children, teens, active women, and most men need two daily servings of 6 ounces or 170 gm.
Protein requirement is higher for people.
- Who have undergone surgeries
- Recuperating from injuries
- With a constant muscle break down due to rigorous exercising.
These requirements sound reasonable on a typical day but hard to maintain during vacations/holidays. Vacations are the time to relax, unwind, free your mind & body of all restrictions. In other words, your diet too is out on holiday!
But a better idea is to free your mind & body in ‘moderation’. The key is –
- To choose and eat wisely
- To stay active, as much as possible, during the whole time
Here are some tips to consciously include protein in the diet & abstain from unhealthy eating while on holiday –
- By packing on the protein for breakfast, protein, that digests slowly, will help the body feel full for extended periods. Choose protein-rich foods like boiled/ scrambled eggs, omelettes, fresh protein shakes, multi-grain cereals, protein bars (but make sure they are low in sugar & saturated fats). Fish, seafood, Greek yoghurt, protein cereals, peanut/almond butter spread on a whole wheat toast/waffle, oatmeal etc. These are options generally available in all restaurants, or you can get it customized & stay on track with your diet.
- After a refreshing beach visit or a shopping spree, the hunger pangs can make even the most seasoned travellers fall off their nutrition chart. But our suggestion is to include protein consciously. Carry a packet of nuts that comes in handy to satiate unexpected cravings. Some cheat days are fun during holidays, but make sure you include some protein into the diet. Whole grain pasta or noodles (but bear in mind the portion as it has a substantial quantity of carbs & calories too!), a tofu sandwich, brown rice with vegetable curry, turkey/chicken salad, on-the-go wraps etc.
- Dinners should be small portions as it can slow you down next day. Add a bowl of vegetable salad or fruit salad, whole wheat bread with protein spreads (you could also buy this from a store), steamed vegetables, spinach/broccoli/almond soup, etc. If these options sound too demanding for your hotel/restaurant, read up about other protein-rich dinner options and see if your hotel can personalize it.
Modern-day travellers prefer accommodations with a kitchen where they can cook their food. Even otherwise, a majority of restaurants will help customize your meal. If both options are ruled out, find a healthier restaurant close to your place of stay (Google maps to the rescue!) and make a better choice at what you eat.