In just a few days, I will be embarking on a trip to Florida for five days. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I can’t wait to feel warm weather again. However, there’s one part about traveling that can often be difficult: staying on track with a healthy lifestyle while on vacation. When far from home, going out to restaurants, eating takeout food, and snacking become almost inevitable. Unless you have access to a kitchen and/or a gym, it becomes extremely easy to lose sight of your health goals.
From my personal experience, vacations in locations that I’ve never visited before are a chance to experience the new culture, especially the cuisine. Florida cuisine is extremely similar to the Northeast’s of course, but when visiting other countries, experiencing their unfamiliar dishes is almost mandatory. Since I will also be traveling to Germany and Austria in a few weeks, I know I will have to work hard to stay on track with my healthy eating, especially with all of the tempting desserts I will come across.
During my weight loss journey, I went to France with one of my best friends. We decided to indulge in various French dishes, but I ended up getting down on myself for it. Although it was all in my head, I nearly convinced myself that I had gained weight on the trip. Thankfully, with all of the walking we did, it turns out I had lost one half of a pound upon my return. Eating should not take away from any fantastic vacation or cause any stress. In an effort to help you stay on track during any getaway, here are some tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on vacation.
- Do your best to choose healthy foods. This is not always easy to do, especially when you’re with others who eat whatever they please. But many restaurants have healthier options to choose from. Try to avoid fried or greasy foods, and instead, choose options that are baked, grilled, or steamed. Salads can be a healthy choice, but make sure to ask for the dressing on the side and try not to use too much of it. Grilled chicken, fish, shellfish, turkey, and eggs are typically leaner proteins in restaurants, so look for these on the menu.
- If the portion sizes at restaurants are large, save half of the dish as leftovers. While some dishes at restaurants are healthier than others, the amount they give is likely way too much for one serving. Hopefully you’ll have a fridge where you’re staying so you can save the other half for a future meal. This will not only help you stay close to your calorie goal, but it will also help save you money.
- If you want to indulge in an unhealthy dish, consider sharing it with someone. If there’s a certain pastry you’re craving, you could choose to indulge in the entire dessert, but you can also split it with someone you’re with. Eating the entire thing is enjoyable, but half of the item tastes exactly the same as the whole of it, with just half the calories. This way, you’ll be able to experience the cuisine without losing track of your goals.
- Don’t over-snack. Whether you’re laying out by the pool with some refreshments beside you, or if you’re bored in the airport and snacking, make sure to not overdo it. Try your best to be conscious of the food you’re consuming. With a bag of chips next to you as you relax, it’s easy to forget exactly how many you popped in your mouth. Portion out snacks and try to only eat when you’re hungry.
- Don’t over-drink. As I have mentioned in the past, sugary drinks can certainly pack in calories. When in tropical locations, fruity beverages are abundant. Consuming drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) by the pool may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your brain realizes exactly how many drinks you consume. Certain tropical drinks can contain hundreds of calories, and although they may be refreshing, it’s important to limit the amount of sugary beverages you consume on your trip.
- If possible, pack healthy foods. When I attended the Your Weight Matters National Convention in Orlando in September, I was determined to stay on track. I packed whole wheat English muffins, peanut butter, protein bars, apples, and trail mix to keep in my hotel room instead of eating out for every meal. This was extremely helpful and ensured that I had healthy options during my stay. Pack some items that don’t need to be refrigerated in your luggage or carry-on to help you to stay eating healthy.
- Pack sneakers and workout clothes. If you don’t have access to a gym, there are still various workouts you can do in your hotel room, cottage, or anywhere. Look up some no-equipment-required workout moves and perform them at least every other day to stay on track with your fitness goals.
- Go on walks. Hopefully your destination has nice weather patterns. Take the opportunity to explore nearby areas on a walk with whoever you’re with. Whether you’re near a beach, in a city, or in the countryside, there are always places to walk around. Use this as a chance to burn some calories and also get to know the area better.
- If a slip-up happens, don’t get down on yourself. It’s very likely that you’ll have at least one meal that isn’t fully healthy. In this situation, try not to overindulge. Rather, enjoy the treat meal and get right back on track afterward. You should spoil yourself on vacation, but make sure that it does not spoil your long-term health goals.
With this knowledge, on your next trip, you’ll be able to stay on track with your healthy eating and have a happy, healthy, and safe getaway. Make sure to experience the local cuisine, but remind yourself of your health goals. You are amazing and you deserve the best. Have an amazing vacation and stay healthy!