Summer is upon us which means many of us are on summer break with our children or we are utilizing this time to travel and take vacations with friends or family.
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but they can also be stressful. One of the main reasons for this is trying to maintain a healthy diet when eating out all day long. It’s not impossible though! Here are 5 ways you can maintain a healthy diet on vacation so that you don’t feel like your health has suffered just because you went away for a week.
1) Pack snacks.
You might think this defeats the purpose of getting out and exploring the new town or country, but it doesn't have to! Bring a few nuts with you (or something else easy to eat), then buy some fresh fruit from one of the many street vendors or local grocery stores as well. This way, if there's nothing in sight that you can eat, you've got some backup. You can can eco friendly baggies and containers to keep them in and reuse.
2) Make a list of restaurants and cafes that serve healthy food.
You know the ones cafes that specialize in all sorts of smoothies, juice bars, vegetarian food, etc. Come up with a list of them ahead of time so when they pop up during your trip (and they will), you can decide where to go based on what type of food it is rather than solely how cheap or convenient it is. Look up the menus online and see what they might have that:
- looks appealing to you
- is primarily healthy
- has others foods the family/guests would enjoy
3) Think about how much exercise you're getting.
This isn't always super easy to do while away from home, but if there's something such as a nice park nearby for walking/running or even just going out for long strolls through the city then consider that a form of exercise and plan dinner around that. If you feel like you wont inherently being getting exercise make plans or find ways to move more. Plan morning walks, find the hotel gym, go swimming more, go on a more active excursion, etc.
4) Don't be shy about eating MORE healthy foods
Portion control is great and should be exercised always. However, if you give yourself permission to eat more, make the choice to do so with healthier options. Large salads, large fruit bowls, etc. Do not trey to deprive yourself because you will end up splurging and messing it up or you will be miserable the entire vacation. Remember: these tips are for folks new to eating healthier or who are establishing new/er habits and then go on vacation. "Veteran" healthy eaters may not need these tips and probably have better discipline or habits established already.
5) If things get tough, prepare yourself for temptation
You're human, so you have a weakness for chocolate cakes and other sweet things. Understand this ahead of time and be prepared to say "no" when the situation arises if necessary. You can also tell yourself what you're compromising on and what you're not. For example: give yourself a certain amount of "cheat calories/macros" ahead of time and know you can "fill" them - kind of like the way Weight Watchers operates with points.
Know you will have to make choices between: appetizers and desserts, fat filled foods or alcoholic drinks, etc. Know that if you want to maintain your goals you WILL have to make choices. If you tell yourself what those choices may be or how you will choose (ahead of time) you feel more prepared and do not fall victim to sudden temptation as easily.
If you follow these tips, eating healthy on vacation should actually be pretty easy, and you won't feel terrible about gaining weight or giving your system too much work to do after getting back home!
If you want ideas for healthier alternatives for typically tempting foods join our