Eating Healthy While on Vacation? Not A Problem.

Jennifer Ajello

Vacations are time for relaxing and rejuvenating with friends and family. It’s also a time to indulge. Yet by following some of the tips below, you can maintain your healthy eating habits, without having to sacrifice the fun!

fruit at pool

1. Eat-in versus Going Out

Sampling new foods and outdoor seating with a view are some of the most enjoyable things about eating out. BUT-the portions can often be double or even triple what we would normally serve at home. Instead, consider eating in, making some simple assembled meals like Vietnamese Spring rolls. You can easily grab simple ingredients at a nearby produce stand or market. Wrappers might be hard to find on the road, but you can grab them at Shoprite or Wegman’s before you leave. If you do eat out, think about sharing an entrée or packing up half to take home for another meal.

 

2. Opt for Zero-calorie Beverages

Most summer vacations involve a lot of time in the sun, which can dehydrate you quickly. Stay hydrated by drinking water with a twist of lemon or lime. Sparkling water and club soda are also good choices as well as unsweetened ice tea (go easy on the ice tea though, as it is a diuretic and may contribute to dehydration).  This is not to say you can’t enjoy a cocktail or frothy adult beverage (you’re on vacation for heaven’s sake), but stick to zero-calorie most of the day so you can savor that vacation drink later.

 

3. Pack Nutritious Foods for the Car

Most of us drive to our su
mmer vacation destinations, but the drive is often long so stopping by fast food restaurants and buying high-calorie, nutrient poor snacks is common when we’re starving, the kids are whining, and there’s the convenience of pulling right off the highway—easy on, easy off.   Why not try a sanity- and waistline-saving approach and pack some nutritious snacks before you leave your house in a small cooler–think yogurts, sandwiches, fruit, and cut-up veggies. Granola bars and dried fruit and nuts are also nutrient packed (though more caloric) options.

 

4. Exercise!

Walk or jog on the beach or boardwalk. Bike, hike, or swim a few days during your stay. When you share these activities with friends or family, it hardly feels like exercise. When you’re exploring new places and burning calories at the same time, it’s a Win-win!

 

5. Allow Yourself One Treat a Day

You are on vacation, after all. If you feel like you’re depriving yourself, then chances are you may over-indulge when temptation strikes! If you allow yourself one treat a day, you will feel better and more in control of your food choices throughout the day.  My downfall is ice cream…knowing I can have a little each day helps me stick to healthy eating and it feels like a reward for staying in control when it comes to selecting food choices on vacation.