Low Carb

How to Eat Low Carb When Traveling

Are you tired of lousy food options at every airport, train station or rest stop? Hit the road with confidence. A little preparation goes a long way. We’ve made it easy with this guide to low-carb travel.

Six tips

  1. Eat well before departing
  2. Pack low-carb snacks
  3. Use coffee to keep hunger at bay
  4. Try fasting
  5. Master restaurant dining
  6. Commit to success


 

1. Eat well before departing

Fill up on your low-carb favorites before you leave. Home is the easiest place to eat right. Don’t rush – start your journey nourished and satisfied.

A filling low-carb breakfast before your travel begins can be quick and easy – hardboiled eggs, cooked bacon, reheated egg muffins, or plain Greek yogurt with cream, berries, and nuts. If you have more time, sauté sausage with mushrooms and tomatoes or slice an avocado and enjoy with olive oil or mayonnaise.


 

2. Pack low-carb snacks

When the flight attendant passes out pretzels, resist temptation and reach for one of these delicious and portable snacks tucked in your carry-on:

  • Nuts and nut butters (Which nuts are best? Check out our guide.)
  • Peeled hard-boiled eggs – don’t forget some salt!
  • Cheese of any type – packaged Babybel cheese is a popular option
  • Jerky, dry salami and cooked bacon
  • Low-carb Sesame Crispbread
  • Parmesan Cheese Crisps
  • Celery filled with cream cheese or nut butter
  • Ham and cheese roll-ups
  • Crudité with dip
  • Salmon and Cream Cheese Bites
  • Leftovers (yesterday’s low-carb dinner makes a great snack or meal)
  • Butter (for coffee, tea and crisps)
  • Olive oil (for salads and veggies)
  • Dark chocolate (≥ 70% cacao; no more than a couple of squares per day.)

Containers

You could pack your snacks in their original containers or in a plastic bag. But you could also get creative, like in the picture at the top.

Here are some smart containers to make travel easier, and keep your food fresh for longer:

When in doubt, pop your container into a large zip-lock plastic bag for extra protection against leaks.


 

3. Use coffee to keep hunger at bay

Coffee, either black or with heavy cream or melted butter, can take the edge off of hunger until you make it to a place with better food. This works with tea or bullion, too.


 


 

4. Try fasting

If intermittent fasting is part of your low-carb routine, use it strategically to skip meals and make travel simpler. Perhaps you rush to your early morning flight and wait to eat until lunch. Or, eat a hearty low-carb breakfast before leaving home and don’t eat again until dinner at your destination. One nice thing about fasting is that you can do it anywhere.

Look here for more on why intermittent fasting can complement LCHF.


 

5. Master restaurant dining

Eating out with confidence is a key part of success when traveling. Common sense should rule – say no to bread, ask for double veggies instead of the starch with your main course, and choose olive oil and vinegar for your salad. Ask for butter to melt on your cooked vegetables and protein. Skip dessert, or choose a cheese plate or berries with heavy cream.

Drink mostly water – champagne, dry wine, light beer, and straight spirits are okay in moderation. (Our guide to low-carb alcohol is worth consulting.)

For more expert tips to help you enjoy low-carb meals at restaurants, check out our dining out guide.


 

6. Commit to success

No excuses. Traveling is not a reason to cheat on your low-carb lifestyle. Make health your priority and decide to make low-carb work before you leave for your journey.

For more on low-carb travel, check out our tips for longer vacations – holidays, cruises, camping, and more… coming soon.

About

This Diet Doctor guide was written by Jenni Calihan, who also blogs at EatTheButter.org. Photos by Anne Lopez.

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Comments

What are your best tips for eating low carb when traveling? Please let us know below.

20 Comments

  1. Rina Amir
    My favorite travel food is beef jerky from http://www.grassfedjerkychews.com
  2. Dom
    Is that coffee a before and after the result of the butter in the first image?

    I never get that sort of look in my coffee with butter, even when I blend it.

    Reply: #6
  3. Peggy
    Yep, my favorite snacks to pack for air travel include Babybel cheese, dried beef jerky, and mixed nuts. Note if you try to pack things like olive oil, butter, and other liquids and semi-solids, they need to be in 3 oz (or smaller) containers and all fit into a single quart-size ziplock to get through TSA in the U.S.

    If I'm staying more than a day or two, I stop at a grocery store on my way to the hotel and stock up on cream, low carb vegetables, etc. I always try to stay somewhere that at least has a fridge and microwave in the room. So much easier (and less expensive) to stay LCHF with real groceries than dining out for every meal.

  4. 1 comment removed
  5. Vivi
    Please don't take nuts onto planes ! People with nut allergies can react to particles in the air. Anaphylaxis mid-flight can be fatal.
  6. Saffron
    One is black coffee with butter the other is coffee with heavy cream
  7. Imaginette
    The heavy cream in coffee is SO SATISFYING that I sometimes don't even want breakfast. It's amazing!
  8. mbwest
    Epic uncured bacon bars...I call them keto granola bars
  9. Rosie
    Yes, the heavy cream in my tea/coffee keeps me full for the next 4 hrs. My breakfast has only 2 grams of carb egg and cottage cheese.
  10. Connie
    This is perfect timing. I will be traveling to NYC soon and wishing that I could pack these ideas. Unfortunately, don't think I can when flying since airport checks our bags.
  11. BC
    I'm in France, and it is impossible to eat low carb. We are on a bike ride with half bord. No substitutions. Can't wait to get home and detox.
  12. Luz
    I reckon I'll pack celery and Babybels or slices of cheese, and ask for hot water for my bouillon cube.
  13. Leroy
    Homemade REAL pemmican.

    1 to 1 ratio of pounded (into fibers / coarse powder) and tallow (rendered into liquid form). Skip the berries, you really don't need them. Thoroughly knead and mix together.

    As is, or spices per your preferences well mixed in.

  14. Mike
    O meu é fazer jejum de 7 dias, apenas com caldo.
    Show.
  15. Stephen
    Thank you for this artical, it does touch on the problem for persons like myself which work away all week and want to follow LCHF diet but find it difficult as we stay in B&B durring the week. My work is within Britain and I find the Morrison Supermarket with there salad bar and Market Street area etc a place where I can keep to LCHF.
    I would like to return to this atrical later but when I signed in I could not find it, so I had to return to my emails and follow the link, could you add a favourite option please where we can easily store links to find things that interest me/us at a later date please, apologies if you have this facility already if you could direct me to it.
    Reply: #21
  16. Gabriela
    Great article!
    As I travel a lot, I've been choosing the LCHF products available in airports (when available) but the article will improve my trip.
    Another thing I started doing is asking for gluten-free meals when I book my tickets. Most of airlines companies have this option. Is not optimal, but it is a start and not looking at regular bread in my plate.
  17. Cristina Giraldo
    Hi, I have a question... can I eat cottage cheese?
  18. deb
    Yes but WHY??? YUCK
  19. Mizzem
    Some of us love cottage cheese! Large curd full-fat with lots of freshly ground black pepper, yummy! I also love cottage cheese stirred up with a slosh of vanilla and a few drops of stevia extract, topped with a nice handful of fresh raspberries or a chopped peach (when it's in season and perfectly ripe, so that means about 3 weeks a year LOL) and a sprinkle of nuts (like some toasted sliced almonds or chopped pistachios - an ounce is more than enough!). Somehow I'll give it a spin in the food processor so it's smooth, like a mousse or pudding. Lovely dessert or dessert-for-breakfast, nom nom nom! My only regret is that it can be high in sodium, and the low-sodium kind doesn't taste as good.
  20. henry
    Kennedy
  21. vicki
    Can you bookmark it or add it to your favourites?

    Thank you for this artical, it does touch on the problem for persons like myself which work away all week and want to follow LCHF diet but find it difficult as we stay in B&B durring the week. My work is within Britain and I find the Morrison Supermarket with there salad bar and Market Street area etc a place where I can keep to LCHF.
    I would like to return to this atrical later but when I signed in I could not find it, so I had to return to my emails and follow the link, could you add a favourite option please where we can easily store links to find things that interest me/us at a later date please, apologies if you have this facility already if you could direct me to it.

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