Summer is here and it’s time for vacation! It’s time to hit the road or the friendly skies and leave the stress of daily life behind. It’s time to stay out late, sleep in, explore new places, and try new foods. However, before you leave for the mountains, the beach, or that faraway city, it’s important to remember that you can have a wonderful time while still sticking to your diet. It is all too easy to forget to eat healthy and maybe even put on a few pounds while traveling. But, not to worry, there are ways to manage your diet no matter where you are AND without depriving yourself!
Choosing healthy options while traveling can be pretty difficult. When we eat out, we often don’t realize how large the portions are. We are also surrounded by non diet friendly food when we travel– fast food, snacks, treats, alcohol… Even though you may not be able to stick to your diet every day while you are on your vacation, the following tips can at least help you be aware of what you are consuming while still allowing you to enjoy yourself. So go ahead, pack up the kids, the towels, and the sunblock along with these ideas and have a great time!
- Plan ahead
- Stick to your routine
- Be your own chef
- Portion control
- Use an App
1. Plan Ahead
It has been said many times and it’s true — the success to dieting in any circumstance is planning ahead. Even if you aren’t going out of town, planning your meals in advance is your one way ticket to success when it comes to dieting.
Even though planning ahead may sound like it will take the fun out of a spontaneous travel adventure, it is a proven method to help you avoid “bad” foods.
For your trips, you know where you will be going and you know where you will be staying. In addition to planning some fun activities, try planning out where you will have some of your meals. With the internet, it’s actually pretty easy to do. Many restaurants have online menus, so take a look over those menus in advance and seek out the places with healthy options.
Additionally, snacking tends to be a huge factor in weight gain while traveling. To avoid feeling the urge to chow down at your nearest McDonald’s when you’re hungry, bring some heart healthy snacks with you. That way, when hunger strikes, you are prepared and able to put an end to it before making a poor diet choice!
2. Stick to Your Routine
Routines may seem like a bore, but they become your best friend when trying to diet and exercise. For people who have been trying for months or years to slim down, routines become your saving grace; and taking your routine with you on vacation is of the utmost importance.
It’s no secret that when your routine gets out of whack, you slack on exercise and you eat foods that aren’t the best for you. So whenever possible, try sticking to your regular routine while on vacation.
Wake up at the same time as usual, eat your meals in the same general time frame, and ensure that you are getting your workouts in. Even though you may not be able to work out every single day while on vacation, making sure to get some exercise occasionally will make you feel so much better about yourself!
3. Be Your Own Chef
Eating out while vacationing is incredibly tempting. You are usually surrounded by amazing restaurants with deliciously decadent foods. It is hard to say no!
Many hotel rooms have fridges and microwaves while vacation homes, of course, have full kitchens. It makes having meals “at home” easier and being your own chef is one of the best ways to stick to your diet. You can pick out healthy and ingredients and assemble your own meals so that you know exactly what you are putting into your body.
Even without a kitchen you can create some simple items like salads, sandwiches, and soups! The other great thing about being your own chef, is that it is almost always less expensive than eating out.
4. Portion Control
Another great way to avoid packing on pounds while you’re on vacation is to watch your portions. This tactic will not only serve you well while you are out of town, it will also help you to cut back when you come back home. We all know it’s impossible not to indulge yourself with amazing food while vacationing but by eating smaller portions, you can reduce your calorie intake while still enjoying new and delicious foods.
Many restaurants serve huge portions full of extra calories and ingredients that might not really be that good for us. One thing to remember is that a “serving” is about the size of an adult fist. One way to control your calorie intake is to order off of the appetizer menu, or to split a heavier entree with someone else. You can also load up on salad beforehand (just watch the dressings and added items like croutons) and also make sure to drink plenty of water. Stay away from sugary drinks like sodas and juices as they are full of empty calories. Let your server know that you don’t want a breadbasket and try to choose a healthier option like fruit for dessert. If you must have dessert (and sometime you do just have to have dessert!), then splitting it several ways or just taking a bite of two will satisfy your sweet tooth.
5. Use an App
Another great way to stick to your diet and exercise plan while you are on vacation is to use an App. For instance, an app like Lose It! can be downloaded on your Android or iPhone. Then, you’ve got a great way to determine just how many calories are in each item you eat and what your total calorie intake for the day is. These apps can help you set goals and then track them no matter where you are. You can also use a device like a FitBit to track your exercise and how many calories you burn every day. It’s a great way to remind yourself to take a walk along the beach and enjoy the scenery instead of just lounging on your towel. Once you are more aware, it’s actually pretty easy to work in exercise and healthy eating.
Downtime and vacations are essential to both our physical and mental health. You don’t want to stress out about “blowing your diet” when you are supposed to be relaxing and rejuvinating, so follow these tips so that you come back refreshed and ready to hit the ground running (pun intended)!