When you take a trip, does your diet go on vacation, too? Sticking to your healthy lifestyle on vacation isn’t exactly easy. It seems temptation is around every corner and it’s tough to do the “work” weight loss requires when all you really want to do is rest and relax!
Research Before You Go……Almost all restaurant websites offer menu information. Take note of items to avoid and those that fit your diet and preferences. Keep the information you learn in mind when choosing where to dine.
Bring Healthy Snacks with You……Bring protein bars and other healthful snacks with you for afternoon and nightime cravings. If you are driving, you can pack fruit and other low-calorie items to help you avoid giving in to vending machine temptation or drive-through desperation.
Be Careful when Ordering Salads……Salads can be a low-calorie alternative, but watch out for items that can add a hefty amount of calories and fat. Breaded and fried chicken (often called “crispy”) has many more calories than grilled chicken. Other items to avoid include refried beans (common in taco salads), high-fat dressings (blue cheese is a good example) and many kinds of cheeses.
Watch for Healthful Cooking Methods……Opt for grilled meat, seafood or veggies, rather than fried. Be careful of sauces: A white sauce, or anything described as “creamy” is often much higher in fat than a tomato or marinara sauce. Ask if you can substitute veggies for a potato as your side dish.
Cut Portion Size……When eating out, here are several strategies to cut portion size: Try ordering an appetizer as your main meal instead of an entree. Consider splitting an entree with someone else in your party rather than eating the whole thing yourself. Plan to eat half of what you’re served and bring the rest home in a doggie bag (or just leave it on your plate).
Choose Zero-Calorie Beverages……Ask for diet soda, unsweetened iced tea, or even a tall glass of ice water with lemon. Save the calories that would be in a tall glass of sweetened soda for some other part of the meal. Restaurants often have tall glasses that already contain more than one serving, and then they refill them for free, which could add up to several hundred calories if you don’t order a diet beverage.
Beware of Alcoholic Drinks……Here is another place where research can serve you well. Look up calorie content for your favorite mixed drinks before you set off on your trip. Know which drinks to avoid. Some can have 500 calories in one glass, but others are much lower in calories. Decide ahead of time which drinks you will avoid and stick to your plan.
Take a Walk……Look for opportunities to walk for exercise. Opt for a walking tour instead of a bus. Get up early and explore the area around your hotel on foot. Or take advantage of the hotel pool or fitness room.
Plan a Minor Indulgence……After all, you are on vacation. Plan one or two meals when you will disregard your diet and just enjoy whatever you want. Think of it as a reward for sticking to the diet for the rest of the trip.
by Melissa Worcester