5 Tips for Eating Healthy on Vacation
PLANNING IS KEY
The key to sticking with your eating habits while on vacation is planning. Take some time beforehand to think about where you’ll be traveling and what foods will be available once you’re there. It will be helpful to have a rough idea of when you’re going to eat out and when you’re going to cook.
You can make a list of different meals to make once you’ve arrived and come prepared with some pre-made food so cooking won’t consume as much of your time to relax. You can also do some research ahead of time in order to incorporate regional or seasonal foods into the different dishes you make.
DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
You’ve heard it before because it’s true - breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides vital energy that you need to tackle your day. Plus, if you eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast, you won’t run into random and sudden hunger strikes later in the day.
You should aim to eat a meal with a good source of protein (something like eggs, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt), antioxidant-rich fruit and whole wheat toast or cereal. This will give you the strength you’ll need and leave you feeling full.
PACK A BAG
If you know you have a long day ahead of you - shuffling through various museums, taking a hike, traveling or on a day trip - pack a bag or cooler full of healthy snacks. This way, instead of having to eat the first food you can find when you become hungry, you’ll have nutritious snacks to carry you through your day.
Some good things to pack include fresh fruit, trail mix, energy or protein bars, fresh cut veggies, whole wheat crackers or light sandwiches. You should also make sure to pack plenty of water bottles to help fight off fatigue and dehydration.
ACT LIKE YOU’RE EATING AT HOME, NOT ON VACATION
Often times when you’re on vacation all of your eating habits fly out of the window. It’s easy to eat out for every meal and go for all of the unhealthy foods and expensive restaurants. But, if you book a rental home with a kitchen, grocery shopping can be a great way to help you avoid this trap and cook meals like you do at home.
Now you may be thinking - “If I’m on vacation why would I want to spend my time inside cooking?” - but, stick with us. If you come prepared with some pre-made food, the time you’ll spend cooking will be greatly reduced. Additionally, many places will have farmers’ markets that can be a great place to experience the local environment while you pick up some fresh food.
INDULGE IN MODERATION
You shouldn’t restrict yourself from experiencing what unique things your destination has to offer just so you can religiously stick to your regular diet. Every place has something they’re known for, like waffles in Belgium or pasta in Italy. Allow yourself to eat the local cuisine, but just make sure that’s not the only thing you’re eating.
If you choose one to two meals or days to try the best dishes your destination has to offer, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without falling completely off track. Relishing your splurge meals and watching your portion sizes will help you feel good about the food you’re eating.