We all look forward to ur vacations, especially this time of year when so much of the country is in the throws of a bitter cold winter season. And even though vacations are all about fun, there’s no reason you have to sacrifice your healthy eating habits in order to “cut loose” while on holiday.
Vacation Begins at the Airport
Kick-start your trip by packing a healthy, filling meal or snack for the plane ride (airport and airline food tends to be neither good for you nor good). One favorite mix among health experts includes fresh produce, protein, and fiber, such as hummus and veggies, low-fat cheese, and a handful of almonds.
If, however, you’re the type who tends to end up rushing to the airport at the last minute, it’s also possible to find healthy options before boarding. Greek yogurt and piece of fruit, or a protein-packed open-faced sandwich made with turkey and whole wheat bread can be a good option if you have to make a last-minute meal choice prior to departure.
Avoid the Mini Bar Snacks
Skip the sugar- and salt-laden hotel room snacks, and instead wander over to a local farmers’ market to pick out your own healthier snacks. Plus, it’s a fun way to get to know your new surroundings. With your room mini fridge stocked with fresh, in-season fruit and flavorful treats, you'll feel satiated and also lighter between outings.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Begin every day with a good breakfast and don’t hold back on fruit. Most resorts offer great brunches, so why not take advantage of the spread? Skip the sweet pastries and bacon, however, and opt for a filling egg-white omelet, whole-wheat toast, and antioxidant-rich berries. Best of all, the most important meal of the day will fuel your body for a jam-packed day of seeing the sights and having a blast.
Tailor Your Meals to Your Locale
Before your trip, do a little research and find the best dishes in each country you plan to visit. Heading to Paris? Allow yourself the pleasure of a fresh-baked baguette. Skip the bread in Tokyo (but definitely enjoy the sushi), order pasta in Capri (Italian portions are smaller anyway), and get a beignet to share in New Orleans. Vacation travel is an experience and you don’t want to miss out. But health professionals suggest that it’s best to splurge at lunch, especially if you have an active afternoon ahead. At dinner, switch to a light meal of lean protein and veggies that won’t fill you up too much before bed (bonus: You’ll sleep better, too).
You're on vacation—go ahead and eat dessert. Just remember to savor it slowly and that portion size counts. And don’t forget about the hidden calories in alcohol. Stay away from beverages that are made with juice and stick to simple cocktails like a simple spirit on the rocks or a glass of wine.
In the end, just try to follow the age-old mantra, “eat to live, don’t live to eat” and enjoy all of the many other activities that your vacation spot has to offer. You’ll come home rejuvenated, refreshed, and not worried about having to go on a crash diet to remove the “holiday weight”!