If you’re looking for ways to eat healthy while on vacation, chances are, clean eating is already your thing. And whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or follow the basic food groups, you want to keep up with your good eating habits—even while on vacation. But the foodie scene is a big part of travel and the culture of your destination, so it’s tempting to indulge. Since you know that unhealthy eating means weight gain and other health problems, take note of these seven tips to maintain a healthy diet:
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Don’t let a different schedule while on vacation cause you to skip breakfast. Begin the day with a meal packed with protein and fiber. Take advantage of the breakfast buffet if you’re staying at a resort and choose eggs, lean protein, fruit, and whole grains. Watch out for the so-called continental breakfasts featured at some hotels. They typically consist of sugary cereals and pastry.
You can also save time and money by packing breakfast items from home if your accommodation has a mini-fridge. Include baggies of whole-grain cereal, fruit, and homemade muffins. Look for a blender that is lightweight to take along with you. They’re great for making healthy breakfast shakes even if you’re on the go.
2. Pack Your Own Snacks
Packing healthy, travel-friendly snacks for the road or the plane will help you avoid the temptation of sugary snacks. Include snacks like cut-up veggies and hummus, cheese sticks, and crackers with natural peanut butter. And be careful with the snacks offered at the hotel’s mini-bar. Hotel snacks are typically laden with sugar and salt. Instead, head for the grocery store or local farmer’s market for in-season fruit, cereal bars, nuts, and other healthy goodies.
3. Prepare Your Own Meals
Of course, you’ll want to dine out during your trip. After all, you’re on vacation. But if you book your stay at an accommodation with a full kitchen or kitchenette, you’ll have the advantage of preparing a few meals for dining in.
Some large hotels are now offering the option of checking out table-top stoves and cookware. Others have outdoor grills for guests to use. Just call ahead and ask. Visiting a nearby farmer’s market for fresh ingredients is a great way to soak up some local culture. You’ll likely save money too.
4. Research Restaurants
These days, most restaurants have a website displaying their menu. Check ahead of time to make sure healthy options are offered. Many restaurants today have healthy eating options and menus for people with food sensitivities, vegans, and vegetarians. For the cleanest eating options, search for restaurants that advertise fresh, local cuisine with fewer processed foods. You can also create a healthier meal by modifying your selection. For example, replace starchy sides like mac and cheese with green vegetables.
5. Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can become a problem for travelers, especially when flying and spending time outdoors in the sun. And we all know how important water is! Therefore, always prepare and bring a water bottle with you. Make sure to fill it up before leaving your hotel, and refill it whenever possible during your day tour. Keep it with you at all times.
6. Follow The One-Plate Rule
Following the one-plate rule at the all-you-can-eat buffet will help you avoid overeating. First, go to the salad bar and fill the plate half full with fruits and veggies. Then add a palm-sized portion of protein, and then finish off with a starch of your choice such as bread, potatoes, or pasta.
7. Splurge Wisely
You have rewarded yourself with a vacation, and you deserve a few treats. After all, you can’t be expected to visit Paris without trying a freshly baked croissant or strawberry crepes with cream. And you would be remiss to pass up gelato in Italy. The trick is to splurge strategically. Treat yourself to one special food or beverage per day. Make it a reasonable portion, eat slowly, and savor every bite.
Sharing is another strategy. Vendors who sell street foods usually dole out generous portions. Split your order with a friend. And of course, you don’t have to give up evening cocktails. Simply skip the rich, sugary cocktails and go for light beer, wine spritzers, and drinks like skinny Piña Coladas made with Coconut Water instead of Cream of Coconut or Coconut Milk.