Sticking to a healthy diet when you’re traveling is hard, but there are ways you can eat healthy on vacation. For anyone trying to lose weight or maintain healthy eating habits, a vacation will usually put a pause on those intentions. Outside of the comfort and control of routine, making healthy eating choices can be hard. Whether it’s unhealthy restaurant food, the inability to cook your own meal, or the temptation to indulge, vacations usually mean weight gain. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself and splurging, there are ways to balance your food intake — even on vacation. Try these 4 easy tips to eat healthy on vacation.
4 Easy Tips to Eat Healthy on Vacation
1Splurge on ONE meal, Not EVERY Meal
Whether you’re staying at a resort in the Bahamas for a weekend or a hotel in Paris for a week, vacations usually mean that you’ll be eating meals out. And when you’re surrounded by unhealthy choices, it can be easy to consume excess calories. If you want to enjoy yourself but you don’t want to feel lethargic and uncomfortable during your trip, allow yourself to splurge on ONE meal per day, not every meal per day. By doing this, you can still eat healthy on vacation AND treat yourself.
Skip the cheese and meat omelette and try choosing healthy options for breakfast like egg whites, whole grain toast and fruit. For lunch, order lean protein and veggies or a filling salad with the dressing on the side. That way when it’s time for dinner, you can splurge on those yummy french fries, that juicy burger, or that local dessert. You don’t have to count calories all day; just don’t use every single meal as an excuse to overeat.
2Go Grocery Shopping
It may seem weird to go grocery shopping when you’re on vacation, but stocking up on healthy foods that you can’t easily get on-the-go (like protein bars, fruit and egg whites) gives you more control when you get hungry but don’t feel like eating unhealthy fast food.
If you’re staying somewhere for a week and have access to a kitchen, eating a homemade healthy breakfast on your vacation is a great way to set yourself up for success. Grocery shopping also allows you to pack lunches like sandwiches instead of opting for restaurant-fair, which is often loaded with fattening sauces and processed meats.
Drinking water throughout the day will keep you feeling full and energized, and it will also help aid digestion. Start every morning with a big glass of water, and keep water handy throughout the day. Hot climates and excess activity on vacation will have you reaching for something to quench your thirst, and water is the best option. Steer clear of sugary sodas and juices.
When you feel like drinking alcohol, choose wisely! Drinks in big plastic cups like strawberry daiquiris can have over 1,000 calories and are loaded with tons of sugar (and usually very little alcohol!) Instead, opt for cocktails with less mixers like vodka-tonics, and enjoy wine instead of beer.
4Make it Worth it
While it may be hard to eat healthy on vacation, it’s not impossible. And eating healthy on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Ultimately, splurging on food is a question of worth. Is a McDonalds burger at the airport “worth” a splurge? Probably not. Is that stale, processed hotel cookie “worth” a splurge? Likely, no. But, is that infamous strawberry shortcake with locally grown strawberries worth it? Yes! Is that Italian pizza you can only eat in Italy worth it? Yes!
The point is, choose a food’s “worth” wisely. Don’t waste fat and sugar intake on food just because it’s there. Enjoying vacation isn’t an excuse to eat whatever you want; it’s an opportunity to enjoy special, once-in-a-lifetime experiences (and food).
If you follow these 4 simple tips, you’ll be happy you did! There is no better feeling than coming home from a vacation and feeling that you savored every moment — but still managed to take care of your body. You CAN eat healthy on vacation!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Make sure to document your vacation so you can one day reminisce. Learn How to Take Great Family Vacation Photos before you go.
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Sources: CDC; HHS.gov