Who doesn’t love vacations? Whether you are relaxing on a beach or exploring a new city, it can all be super exciting. But let’s face it, we spend most of our time sightseeing and taking pictures rather than focusing on ways to eat healthy. Eating healthy while on a vacation can be tricky no doubt, but it isn’t impossible. Keep reading to discover the 7 most effective tips to do it right the next time you head out!
9 Proven Tips to Help You Eat Healthy on a Vacation
Pack Healthy Snacks
One of the easiest ways to eat healthy while on vacation is to pack healthy snacks, especially if you’re heading out for a short trip. Healthy snack bars and trail mixes are easy to pack in your luggage for longer trips. Fresh fruit and nuts are perfect road trips. I’ll often pack low sugar cereal for my kids to snack on as well.
Here are some snacks I’ll often pack or buy to help my family eat healthy on vacation:
- trail mix
- healthy snack bars
Find a farmer’s market or grocery store as soon as you reach your destination. Pick up healthy snacks like fresh fruits, veggies (carrots and celery sticks are easy to pack), nuts, pretzels and popcorn. This is also a great way to check out the locals and ask questions about the hidden gems you might miss in a tourist guidebook.
This is probably the hardest tip to stick with for a healthy vacation. There are so many temptations while on vacation. I find the best way to keep up my will power is to enlist the help of a friend or family member to hold me accountable. When my husband and I travel together, we will remind one another to make healthier choices. I’ll often use an app like My Fitness Pal to check the calories and nutritional value of foods as well.
A Treat a Day
Sticking to a plan in important, but rules are ok to bend a bit when your one vacation. Depriving yourself completely will can leave you feeling rather cranky. I mean who wants to pass up every treat on vacation. Make a plan to allow yourself one treat per day. Just don’t over do it. Sharing a decadent dessert, or having few fancy cocktails will keep you feeling like your in vacation mode without over indulging.
When I visit tropical locations, a fresh smoothie is a great option (that may or may not also include alcohol) instead of opting for a processed dessert. If our family does go out for a special treat, we try to limit it to part of a meal instead of the entire plate.
Follow the One Plate Rule
Elaborate breakfast buffets entice you to come back for more. I recommend following the one plate rule. Take only as much as you can on a plate, and don’t go for seconds. One plate of food truly is enough. Make your plate as colorful as possible. If you go for something like pancakes at breakfast, make sure the rest of your plate has colorful fruits. Include a healthy protein like turkey bacon or a scrambled egg. I love an omelet filled with fresh vegetables (skip the cheese).
Opt for Sit Down Restaurants
Skip the fast food joints and choose sit-down restaurants. This might take extra time, but you’ll be able to ask your server about how foods are prepared and add requests for healthier meal options. For example, ask for dressings on the side, grilled proteins instead of fried, and choose vegetables and salads instead of fried side dishes.
Avoid these high calorie, high fat foods: KEEP AWAY from words like “crispy, fried, sauteed, breaded, creamy/creamed, buttery, au gratin, Alfredo sauce, and cheese sauce.”
Go for lower fat and calorie items: LOOK FOR words like “broiled, steamed, grilled, poached, stir-fried, roasted, tomato sauce, Marsala sauce and marinara sauce.”
Don’t Skip Breakfast
A healthy vacation starts with a solid breakfast each day. It’s a golden rule of healthy eating. Having a healthy breakfast ensures that you’re less likely to just grab whatever you can get your hands on. Be sure to have a balance of protein and healthy carbs. This will help keep you fuller longer to help you resits other temptations.
Keep a Water Bottle Handy
A lot of times, we tend to grab and munch on foods when we’re actually just thirsty. Always have a bottle of water handy. Not only will it ensure that you’re hydrated, but you’ll also be less likely to experience food cravings.
Don’t forget to Exercise
While the goal of a vacation is to relax, if you don’t keep your body moving, you are likely to put on a pound or two. Even a brisk walk on the beach counts. See if you can sign up for a local class. I love finding a yoga class wherever I go. Body weight exercises are perfect when you don’t have access to a gym.