Our tips for keeping it healthy on holidays, without missing out on everything your vacation spot has to offer.
Eating out on vacation is a given for almost every holiday. This is both a fun part of being away, but also can be stressful for those wanting to stick to their healthy eating habits. Check out the following tips to help keep you on track!
Limit your treats to one per day.
Enjoying your favorite treat on vacation can sometimes be the best part of your day. You want to enjoy the local cuisine as much as you can, and a lot of the time, that includes lots of desserts and other sugary treats. Indulge in moderation! Limit yourself to one treat per day, or opt for a sweet treat like fresh local fruit when a craving strikes.
Pay attention to portions.
When eating at restaurants, you are often served a huge portion of whatever meal you are about to enjoy. Remember – just because it was served to us, does not mean we have to eat the whole thing. Restaurant leftovers can make great snacks or lunches for the next day! Sharing several dishes is a great way to sample different kinds of food without overindulging.
Learn to make healthier choices when reading a menu.
Most restaurants offer healthier menu options, which means it’s up to us to make better choices. Here are a few healthier options to get you started:
- If you know you are going to be having a big supper, order a salad or soup for lunch.
- Ask if there’s an option to have your food grilled or baked, rather than fried or deep fried.
- Ask for sauce or dressing on the side; this way you can control how much you want to eat.
- Try substituting a side of fries for a side salad, or a side of veggies.
Having one glass of water with your meal is often not enough on vacation. Whether you are at the beach or walking through a theme park, keeping hydrated will help you to feel your best. If you don’t want to bring your own reusable water bottle from home, buy one early in the trip and keep it as a souvenir!
Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty. This can trick us into thinking we need a snack, when really, we just need to re-hydrate.
Make homemade food fun.
Instead of eating out at a restaurant for every meal, pack a picnic! Pick out your favourite sandwich ingredients with a side of fruit and veggies for a better alternative than eating processed food. Check out a local market for a taste of the local produce!
Ask yourself, would I eat this at home?
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the seemingly unlimited food choices, ask yourself, “Would I eat this at home.” Of course, it is nice to try new things and treat yourself on vacation but giving it a second though might help influence a healthier choice.
Plan it out.
Planning to make healthier choices doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Head to the local grocery store and buy some healthy snacks to pack with you (granola bars, veggie chips, etc.).
You can always make trying a healthy restaurant part of the plan for your day. It is so easy to go for the convenient option of grabbing whatever is nearby (often an unhealthy option) when on vacation. But planning at least one healthy meal choice into your plans can help you feel better about some of the other treats you want to enjoy.
Don’t forget to eat breakfast.
Often on vacation we fall out of our regular routines. Remembering to fuel up for the day can help to start a day of good choices on the right track. If you don’t want to eat a formal breakfast every day, pick up some easy breakfast food that you can eat on the go, or before you head out for the day.
Don’t pack your “cheat day” mentality with you.
Eating out and trying new food is a fun part of every vacation. It is common to indulge on vacation and not think about the consequences as much as you would at home. Being mindful of the choices you are making can help to keep the unhealthy eating in check.
Remember: It’s all about balance! We all want to indulge a little when on vacation, but being mindful that we don’t do this every meal will help ensure we are feeling our best to enjoy our time away.
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