Healthy Eating Choices While on Vacation
Going on vacation can oftentimes give us an excuse to indulge in whatever foods we choose, regardless of nutritional value. Unfortunately, those extra calories still add up, and if you were following a stricter diet before, it can completely derail your success when you return home. Thankfully, there are great ways to eat healthy and still enjoy the delicious, local food on vacation.
Make Healthy Travel Choices
We often think of reaching our destination, but what about the travel itself? If you’re going for a road trip, quick stops through a drive-thru or loading up on gas station snacks is easy, and if you’re heading for the airport, there are restaurants, bars and convenience stores to browse. Even with the best of intentions, the tempting junk food options these places offer are not a great place to start.
Whenever possible, be prepared and pack your own healthy snacks for the ride. Easy options for travel include things like trail mix, granola, popcorn, pretzels, fresh fruits, and more. Be sure to follow any rules when travelling, particularly if going by airplane, as some items may not be permitted. Not only will bringing your own snacks keep you from having to enter any stores offering candy, cookies, and chips, but it will also help you save money. Be sure to also bring enough for the vacation itself, or find a local market nearby to replenish your snack stock.
Focus on Healthy Foods for At Least Some Meals
You know you’re going to have a treat at some point, so leave yourself some wiggle room to enjoy. Focus on eating healthy at least one or two meals each day, such as during breakfast and lunch. Produce and fiber, such as those found in fresh fruits, salads, greens, and whole grains will help you have the energy to take in the sights and participate in activities, and help compensate for if and when you eat something a little less nutritious.
Finding the best local restaurants is also key, particularly those that utilize local products. These meals will generally pack more nutrition as well as highlight all of the wonderful area flavors, like fresh grilled fish and tropical fruits on a beach vacation. Try to visit mostly sit-down restaurants as they will give you the most control over food preparation, special requests, and substitutions.
Don’t Overly Limit Yourself
While eating healthy is important, it’s okay to splurge a little. After all, you are on vacation, and limiting yourself too much can become a bit of a drag. If you are travelling with others, consider ordering multiple delicious menu items to share around the table. You’ll get to sample many things while limiting calories if you were to eat an entire dish alone. Also, make wise splurge decisions. Essentially, think of things you won’t readily be able to get around home, such as a gourmet local dessert or authentic entrée. It’s all about moderation and smart decisions. Try to limit yourself to one treat per day.
Healthy food is important, but so is physical activity. There are so many new places to see, so take the time to enjoy them with frequent walks to each destination. You may find something new to experience along the way, but at the very least, you’ll help balance out any extra calories you may take in. If your hotel offers a pool or fitness area, take advantage either before you begin your day or at a time that is convenient for you daily. Depending on the area you are visiting, there may also be great scenic areas to explore by hiking and biking. You’ll get to see the unique, area nature and get a workout all at once.
Vacations should be an enjoyable time for everyone, but it doesn’t have to mean losing all of the hard work and discipline you put in before leaving. Make smart, healthy food choices without limiting yourself too much, and truly enjoy what the location has to offer.
If you need help staying healthy or getting back on track, visit us at one of our convenient area locations today.