9 Tips to Help You Maintain a Healthy Diet on Vacation
One of the most exciting aspects of any vacation is often the local food and treats you can enjoy at your destination. Every region has different cuisines, delicacies and desserts to offer, but when you’re trying to stick to a diet or weight loss regimen, it can be a challenge to find a balance between healthy eating and savoring all that the cultural cuisine has to offer. Fortunately, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to healthy eating while on vacation. Read on to discover several tips to help you maintain healthy eating habits while you travel.
- Set Intentions Ahead of Time
Often, unhealthy food choices are made as a result of last-minute, impulsive decisions. Whether you’re trying to stick to a GOMAD diet or keep up a sugar-free meal plan, establish some boundaries for yourself long before you board the plane. Determine how you’ll handle unexpected hunger cravings while on the go, when you may be willing to make some food choice sacrifices and certain things you will refuse to compromise on no matter how strong the temptation.
- Pack Your Own Snacks
While on vacation, it’s easy to get lost in what you’re doing and forget to stop to grab a bite to eat. In these instances, you may find yourself settling for street food, vending machine options or convenience snacks that do little for your health and waistline. Before you head out for the day, pack a small backpack or sling bag with healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, dried fruit, protein bites, string cheese, pre-made sandwiches or hard-boiled eggs.
- Prepare Your Own Meals
As you’re booking accommodations, look for hotels and short-term stays that have full kitchens or kitchenettes to allow you to prepare healthy meals for yourself. A home-cooked meal is a lot more likely to have nourishing, whole-food ingredients than restaurant fare. Preparing your own meals can also be a fun way to explore the local cuisine as you visit local grocery stores and make healthier versions of regional foods back at your home away from home.
- Research Restaurants
If you know you’ll plan to spend the day near a particular historical site, gallery, museum or recreational area, do some due diligence and look up nearby restaurants before you’re in the area. Visit restaurant websites and inspect the menus for healthy options. If you know you won’t be able to have a nutritious meal with the options available, it’s a good idea to consider packing your own food ahead of time or contacting the restaurant ahead of time to ask if they’d be willing to make a special dietary accommodation for you.
- Plan to Indulge
The more deprived you feel while on your vacation, the more likely you are to give in to fatty, sugary, or high-calorie temptations as they occur. Set aside several meal times to let yourself enjoy treats or big meals on your trip, and offset the nutritional impact by making better, healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
- Bring a Water Bottle
Hydration is crucial for any healthful diet, and ensuring your body has enough water will also help you to suss out hunger cues from thirst cues. Drinking enough water has also been shown to contribute to weight loss efforts, as those who consume a large amount of water at least thirty minutes before mealtime eat less when it’s time to sit down and enjoy the meal. Pack a reusable water bottle and keep it filled up wherever you go to make sure your body stays properly hydrated.
- Split Servings
If the list of foods you’d like to try starts to conflict with your healthier intentions, consider splitting meals with your party and ordering plenty of healthy sides. That way, you can taste all the new foods you’d like without all the consequences that would come with ordering a full serving of your own.
- Make Mindful Choices
Instead of ordering the fried tofu, opt for grilled. Rather than eat an entire slice of cake, split it with your traveling companions and fill up on local fruits for dessert instead. In every situation, look for the healthiest way to order a meal or enjoy a dessert that will allow you to experience the flavors of the region without loading up on fried food, sugary sweets or high-calorie portions that will interfere with your weight loss efforts.
- Stay Positive
Though discipline is crucial for any diet plan, few people make it from start to finish without at least one moment that deviates from the ideal. Any diet plan worth following should encourage a healthy relationship with food at its core. Rather than stress about perceived slip ups or cheat meals, remember why you’re dieting in the first place and practice self-love and compassion with yourself.
One snack, one meal and even one week won’t completely halt your progress. Keep your chin up and remember that it’s about a healthy mind just as much as it is about a healthy body.