Going on vacation offers a welcome break from your regular routine—so long 30-minute car commute to work, hello healthy walk to saltwater and sunshine! But without your everyday habits to anchor healthy choices, it can sometimes become easy to overindulge. (Why not stay up late sipping creamy piña coladas by the pool? It’s not like you have to wake up early to catch your carpool.) Still, you don’t have to restrict yourself to crudité and bottled water. Just keep these do’s and don’ts in mind and you won’t return home with an unwanted souvenir—extra weight.
DO Pack Snacks
Whether you’re getting to your destination via plane, train, or automobile, having a stash of healthy food in your carry-on puts you in control of your snacks. Still, swiping a credit card on a seatback screen doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be eating junk. Most airlines offer nutritious options like fresh fruit and nuts these days, and even Amtrak sells hummus and Greek yogurt.
DON’T Hit the Midnight Buffet
Or any buffet, for that matter. Yes, they’re inexpensive and great for groups, but those cruiseship and all-inclusive-resort staples are a slip-up waiting to happen. With bottomless bowls and endless choices, it’s hard not to overeat! Still, research conducted by Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s food and brand lab and author of Mindless Eating, shows it’s possible to be prudent. When dining from a self-serve line, try these two nuggets of advice: Pick up a smaller plate and scout out the offerings before choosing what to eat.
DO Make Some Meals Simple
Scattered, smothered, and covered are all delicious. But if every meal you order is topped with a fancy sauce or comes with a lot of creamy extras, you’re sure to be taking in more calories than you need. If you enjoy splurging on breakfast, consider keeping lunch and dinner light. A great travel tip from our friends over at FitStar: When possible, a dish containing fresh greens topped with salmon or chicken and balsamic dressing should be your go-to.
DON’T Memorize These Rules
Vacations are meant to be relaxing—and fun. If that means treating yourself to a room service sundae, so be it! It’s OK to cut yourself some slack—it won’t ruin your overall health or make you a diet failure. Besides, you can always walk to the local sights and monuments instead of taking a taxi tomorrow.
How do you eat healthy on vacation? Do you even bother to try? Share your thoughts in the comments.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.