Ladies with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome know only too well how important getting the right diet balance is. For those who travel frequently for work – navigating the airport and following a PCOS friendly diet can be a nightmare.
1.Avoiding Missing Meals
If you are traveling between time zones or over your normal meal times then missing meals can be a common occurrence. Long gaps between meals will cause your metabolism to drop and you will overeat at your next meal. Equally, you may even eat more meals because you don’t know when you will next get the opportunity to eat.
There are a few tricks here which will help you to prevent being in these situations. Firstly, try to be organised and plan in your meals as appointments on your phone in both GMT and local time. This will immediately bring to light any large gaps between meals and allow you to plan better. Also, arrive early to the airport or book longer transfers which allow you to take time to eat.
2.Not Hungry Enough For Breakfast
Your body can be a little regimented and early starts mean that when you have the opportunity to eat, you just aren’t hungry. We all know that skipping breakfast will lead to a reduced metabolism and over eating later in the day. So what is the solution?
If you know that you have an early start then plan a smaller breakfast which you know you could manage (even at a push). Something like breakfast cereal bars/ banana/ yoghurt/ 1 slice of toast/ 2 hard boiled eggs is perfect.
Generally we use snacks to prevent hunger between meals or as a way of getting some more nutrients in to us. Snacking in an airport is an entirely different ball game: instead of our usual habits, we often go for high GI foods such as sweets/ bags of chocolate/ muffins etc and why? Because, they are everywhere! This is fine if you are travelling on your one big holiday a year, but if you travel regularly it is no longer just a treat.
So what do you do instead? Firstly, you are unlikely to actually need a snack, often when we travel, we are far less active and so the calories we get from our meals are more than enough to keep us going. This means that snacking when travelling is mostly just a habit.
You can either go cold turkey on the snacks or a nice compromise is to get some healthy, low GI alternatives. Good options are yoghurts (available in Boots), hard boiled eggs (available in Pret a Manger), small packets of unsalted nuts (available in WH Smiths) or fruit (available in most coffee shops).
You can read more about snacking in PCOS here.
With the bar open from the early hours, it may be tempting to start with an alcoholic drink but this is the worst thing you can do. Alcohol will make jet lag worse, prevent you from sleeping properly, alcoholic drinks are often high GI and alcohol will increase your appetite.
Equally, coffee is a popular drinks for most but caffeine is a stimulant and the coffee in coffee shops is around 3 times stronger than the stuff in the jar.
One popular drink for those trying to be healthier are fruit juices and smoothies. Unfortunately, these contain high amounts of sugar which is not ideal when you have PCOS. In fact, the government guidelines for the general public are just 150mls/day and the bottled drinks you get in the airport will far exceed this.
So what should you drink? The best drink is always going to be water and I always recommend purchasing a large 1-2L bottle in the airport to keep you hydrated for the day. However, this is fairly boring so some other alternatives would be – decaffeinated coffee (all coffee shops now do this), sugar free flavoured water, 1 shot spirits with a diet mixer (avoiding the sugar and keeping the alcohol as low as possible).
Meals at the airport can be rather limiting. So whatever you decide to have, try and go for the rule of quarters – 1/4 carbohydrate 1/4 protein and 2/4 vegetables. This will prevent you from overeating , keep you full enough and keep your energy levels consistent. Without being too crude, it also helps to keep your fibre levels high enough to prevent that typical constipation when traveling.
Some great examples would be;
Naked chicken burger with salad and small portions of chips.
Salad – including couscous, falafel and plenty of vegetables.
Fish – with seasonal vegetables and baked potato.
Panini – chicken (no cheese) with a piece of fruit.
You can also read about how to avoid IBS-flare up ,when you are on a holiday here.
If you would like to book an appointment for polycystic ovary syndrome diet advice then please contact me today.