How to Eat Healthy on Vacation
Vacations are one of the greatest luxuries in life. Whether you go on a relaxing getaway, an adventure, or an all-inclusive vacation, you will be looking for something good to eat. If you are not careful with what you eat, a few extra unwanted pounds may be following you back home because you didn’t bring your healthy eating habits on vacation with you.
Many people feel that eating healthy while on vacation can be tough, and they can lose months of progress in just a few days away from home. Going on vacation is about taking the time to relax and enjoy yourself, you don’t want to stress over your diet. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that you continue to eat healthy.
The following tips will make eating healthy much easier, so you can come back from your vacation feeling amazing.
Try out Local Restaurants
When traveling abroad, it is often suggested to try out restaurants that the locals go to. It is easier to find small restaurants that are family owned and offer delicious meals that are traditional to the area you are visiting. Do not be shy, ask around to find out which dishes popular and where you can find them. Small restaurants offer meals that are more homemade compared to fast food chains. You can try out the popular dishes and learn more about the culture of the country you are visiting while meeting the locals.
Split a Meal
You are undoubtedly going to be eating out more often instead of cooking. Most of the menus at restaurants today offer enough food for two people per item ordered. Despite this, when one person orders something off the menu, they typically eat all of it.
Whether you are traveling with a significant other or just a friend, consider ordering a few items and sharing. By sharing, this will not only save you money but help ensure you both practice better portion control. Almost all restaurants will split orders between two plates, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. People who do this, whether on vacation or not find that they walk out of the restaurant comfortably full, and without the guilt of overeating.
Choose a Healthy Side
Almost all restaurant meals today come with a side dish to compliment the main course meal. Even when there is a set side dish on the menu, virtually every restaurant will let you substitute something healthier. Removing an unhealthy side dish for fresh or cooked vegetables can dramatically cut down on your calorie intake and add in many essential nutrients.
Plan Your Fast Food Selections
Almost all vacations will include at least a couple stops at a fast food restaurant. Choosing a fast food restaurant for a quick bite is very easy, and most choices on the menu are unhealthy. Today, almost every restaurant has a few options that are healthier. For example, you may choose to replace the fries with a salad, and this would be a healthier choice. Before selecting any fast food restaurant, commit to your healthy choices. Here are a few simple things you can do to eat healthy at a fast food restaurant:
- Avoid the Soda – Choose water, unsweetened tea, black coffee, or some other drink that is not full of sugar.
- Never Supersize – Supersizing, king sizing, going large, whatever you call it, it means more calories. Nobody needs the extra food, so when given the choice, always select the smallest size for your meal.
- Consider a Salad – While it may be surprising, most fast food restaurants have great salad options. Even if you go for a deluxe salad, it will be better than most other items on the menu. Also, you can apply the dressing yourself so only use a little bit to improve the taste, without expanding your waist.
- Customize for Your Diet – If you are following a particular diet, customize your order to meet your requirements. If you’re on the paleo or primal diet, for example, you can order your burger without the bun. It is easy to do, and will help you to maintain your diet even while on vacation.
Always Have Water
When you’re on vacation, you are much more likely to be physically active, which means you are going to need more water. Having a bottle of water with you at all times will help ensure you stay hydrated. Remaining hydrated is vital for your health. Drinking water is when on the go will keep your stomach feeling fuller, so you are not tempted to eat as often. Just sipping on water throughout the day has been shown to reduce the total caloric intake in most people.
Pack Fruits & Veggies
If you’re going on a road trip, don’t be tempted to pack a bunch of candy to snack on while driving. A small cooler filled with fruits and vegetables is a much healthier option. You can fill it up as needed since there are grocery stores in every town, and the fresh fruit and vegetable section is almost always going to be near the front of the store. Having candy and other processed foods sitting next to you for hours on end is a recipe for disaster. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Consider the Consequences
Most people eat healthy because they know the long-term consequences of weight gain and health problems. When on vacation people often have the mindset of, “it’s only for a few days, what harm can it do.” While it is true that just a few days of unhealthy eating won’t typically have a huge long term effect, it can cause many problems that could ruin your vacation.
Eating unhealthy foods (fatty burgers & Fries) when you aren’t used to it can quickly cause stomach issues. It can also make you feel bloated, and decrease your energy levels. You want to feel your best while on vacation, so don’t sabotage your trip with poor eating habits.
If you’re traveling with children, the last thing you want to do is load them up with sugar. With just a little extra planning and effort ahead of time, you can ensure there are healthy food choices throughout your trip so that you and your traveling companions feel great while on vacation, and when you return.