You’ve been doing plane food all wrong

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1) AVOID THE CARBS

One of the biggest reasons we feel tired and sluggish after a flight is that the lack of physical movement means that the digestive systems are not processing food through the intestinal tract as quickly as it usually would. For this reason, energy rich carbs including bread, rice, pasta and noodles are best avoided, especially on long flights. Reducing your carbohydrate intake will help to reduce fluid retention in the body, and also help to reduce the total amount of food in your digestive tract, in turn helping to reduce bloating.

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Sugar is a no no so you may want to ditch that ice-cream.

Sugar is a no no so you may want to ditch that ice-cream.Source:Supplied

2) CHOOSE THE LIGHTEST OPTIONS.

The best meal options on flights are the lightest options — fish, vegetables, salads and soups. While not always available, these are the best choices as they will both fill you up but not retain extra salt and fluid in the digestive tract. As these specific foods are not always readily available, if you do want to pack some of your own snacks, cut up vegetables, a tin of canned fish or a homemade salad in a take way container are easy ways to make sure you have some light options handy should the menu options not cut it. When it comes to fluids, water is always best, but don’t forget your herbal teas which are often available and help the kidneys to rid the body of extra fluid.

Fish is a good light option. Picture: iStock / Getty Images

Fish is a good light option. Picture: iStock / Getty ImagesSource:istock

3) ALWAYS TAKE SOME SUPPLIES WITH YOU

It is commonly thought that you cannot take food on flights but this is not the case. You cannot take food off the plane again, but you can take it on. For this reason, always taking a few light protein rich snacks with you so you have some good options should the food served be less than ideal is the key. Good options include chopped vegetables, cheese and crackers, protein and nut bars or if you are super keen your own salad or homemade wraps. All light options that will keep you full and satisfied minis the excessive salt and calories often found in processed airline meals and snacks.

4) THE LESS ALCOHOL, THE BETTER

You are not going to like this tip but the fewer the alcoholic drinks you consume on board a plane, the better it will be for your body. Reduced pressure as experienced when flying places more pressure on the body’s systems, and not only will alcohol have more of an effect when flying but it is another factor that will dehydrate your cells. Dehydration is one the most common reasons our gut and body feels poorly after a long flight. So if you must have a drink, make sure you couple every glass with at least an extra glass of water.

Hard to say no to Emirates' Business Class 'lounge' bar.

Hard to say no to Emirates’ Business Class ‘lounge’ bar.Source:Supplied

5) FOCUS ON MEAL TIMING

Long haul flights, especially if you are positioned at the point end of the plane tends to mean plenty of meals and snacks, whether it is actually time for a meal or not. If we consider that the body is programmed to work on a 24 hour body clock, in many cases meals are served when it would be the time we are sleeping, and having a complete break from food for several hours. When we eat at times when we usually would be having a break from food, the hormones that control fat metabolism along with our digestive systems are not expecting food, and we also are unlikely to actually need food. This basically means that we eat a whole lot more than we need, at the wrong times and are more likely to store the excessive calories and fat. Avoid this scenario by sticking to your regular meal times, even in the air until you arrive at your destination and can switch over to that time zone. For example, if you are taking an afternoon flight, enjoy the final meal and then allow 6-8 hours without food before then enjoying a breakfast style meal. Simply placing minimal food in the gut when flying will help to aid digestive comfort and prevent jet lag.

First class food choices are extensive but its best to avoid eating throughout your flight.

First class food choices are extensive but its best to avoid eating throughout your flight.Source:Supplied

6) AVOID THE WORST OFFENDERS

Fried foods, heavy carbs and salty foods are the worst options when flying. Not only will foods that are high in salt result in extra fluid retention but high carb and calorie foods are more likely to be stored as fat when you are literally sitting down for hours at a time. The key foods to avoid include ice-cream, salty snacks such as potato chips and salted nuts, rice, pasta, noodles as well as slabs of bread, butter and creamy sauces.

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