Summer vacation is the time to kick-back and rewind!
But if you are trying to eat healthy and maintain or lose weight, it can be challenging! Travelers will find that maintaining a healthy diet while vacationing can leave you with questions about what to eat in order to maintain your healthy lifestyle, as well as trying to incorporate exercise into the mix. Here’s how you can enjoy your vacation, all while still staying on your weight loss plan!
Healthy Eating: Vacation Tips
Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy your time off. However, the change in your routine can affect your eating habits so it’s important to plan ahead. Follow these tips while on vacation to keep you on track with healthy eating!
1. Make Good Food Choices
- Try to fill your plate with mostly vegetables with small servings of meat and starches like pasta and rice.
- Many resorts have buffet food stations where food can be cooked to your liking. Ask for a stir-fry with lots of vegetables.
- Look for foods that are baked, grilled or steamed rather than fried or deep fried.
- Look for dishes that use interesting whole grains such as quinoa, barley, bulgur or brown rice.
- Enjoy fresh fruit for dessert. If you are traveling to an exotic location, try the local, seasonal fresh fruit such as mangoes, jackfruit, papayas and pineapples. Treat yourself to a sweet dessert only once in a while, or split dessert with a friend or two.
- If your room has a mini fridge, pick up some fresh fruit and low fat milk at the local grocery store. Pack whole grain, high fiber cereal and cups, bowls and spoons.
- Buy extra groceries to make your own meals if your room has a stove, fridge or microwave.
3. Resist the Urge to Splurge
We tend to splurge when eating out, and vacationing means we will possibly consume an abundance of calories any given day. Try not to think of eating out as a special treat, but instead enjoy the travel experience of exploring new places and trying different activities.
4. Drink In Moderation
- The calories in alcohol and beverages can add up quickly. Aim for no more than 2 drinks per day for women and 3 drinks per day for men.
- For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink. Remember that water is the best thirst quencher and it’s calorie-free!
5. Restaurant Food Choices
- Plan your day and excursions when on vacation. Check out their menus ahead of time if possible so that you know which choices are lower in fat, sodium and calories.
- Portion sizes can be very large at restaurants. Stick to smaller servings and skip the extra cheese, gravy or sauces. Smaller servings mean less fat and fewer calories too.
- Pick menu items that are grilled or baked instead of fried or deep fried, and instead ask for more vegetables or salad.
- Quench your thirst with water, low fat milk or a small serving of 100% fruit juice instead of soda or alcohol.
6. Eat Something “Healthy” Daily
- Enjoy your favorite greens with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and other healthy additions.
- For a “sweet” salad, add fruits such as peaches, berries, apples and plums.
7. Pack Healthy Snacks
- Keep a snack bag or cooler (with ice packs) handy with fresh fruit, pre-cut vegetables, unsalted nuts and seeds, trail mix, sandwiches, low fat granola bars and whole grain crackers with low fat cheese.
- Pack along some healthy foods when traveling by bus, plane or train.
8. Quench Your Thirst
- Keep cold water on hand at all times. For extra flavor, add fresh berries or slices of orange, lemon, lime or cucumber.
- All fruit popsicles with 100% fruit juice can keep you hydrated. Try low fat vanilla yogurt instead of ice cream.
Staying In Shape On Vacation
If you’re working hard to stay in shape, you don’t want to derail your efforts on vacation. It’s important to be able to relax, while also maintaining their health and fitness. Fortunately, it’s possible to strike a balance with a few simple adjustments to your itinerary by following these health tips:
1. Hit The Gym
Being able to walk to the gym is extremely helpful for those trying to stay in shape on vacation and close proximity to a gym opens up your schedule for other activities when on vacation. You can adjust your workouts to accommodate your main priorities – fun and relaxation.
If you’re staying at a hotel, check to make sure your selection has a gym with a lot of amenities. Luckily most hotels are focusing on offering more health and fitness amenities these days. If renting a home, you may need to search the area for a nearby gym with nearby proximity.
2. Bring Portable Workout Equipment
If your travel destination doesn’t have a convenient gym nearby, consider bringing along travel-sized workout equipment. Suspension training equipment options offer a multitude of exercise options to keep your routine consistent while you’re away. Basic resistance bands, jump ropes or even water-filled weights also work well.
4. Bike Or Take a Hike
Biking or hiking can take you exploring to new locales when vacationing. Exploring new areas is an enjoyable way to unwind and stay active while traveling. What’s more, biking and hiking offers many health-related benefits that can help you stay in shape while you’re out of town, and exploring through nature also offers its fair share of mental health benefits. In fact, studies show that outdoor activities can help reduce anxiety and mental fatigue.
5. Find Local Fitness Classes
Group fitness classes are a simple, pre-packaged way to stay in shape as you travel. Most classes allow you to simply show up, plus it’s super convenient and saves you the time it takes to shop for a travel-friendly piece of equipment and put together a vacation-friendly workout routine. You’ll also want to make sure the type of class you choose (e.g., indoor cycling, yoga) suits your personality and preferred workout style.
6. Walk Or Use Public Transportation
Another great way to explore your surroundings and stay active on vacation is to use the local public transit system. Research shows that the use of public transit (e.g., subways, buses, trains) leads to an overall increase in daily activity. As such, taking public transit when you travel is an easy way to sneak in activity!
What’s more, public transit is an easy way to see places and people you wouldn’t otherwise encounter, just be sure to research the transit systems in advance.
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As you can see, going on vacation is a great time to enjoy a relaxing time with friends and family. Staying on track with healthy eating is easy when you plan ahead and choose wisely.
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