Back in my dieting days, going on vacation used to be so stressful. I thought that I had to deprive myself, in order to “stay on track.” I would be so concerned with what I wouldn’t be able to eat and how I would be able to make it through vacation, on my “diet,” that the excitement of the actual vacation started to leave after a while. Have you ever been there before?
After giving up dieting and starting to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, I was reminded that vacation is to be enjoyed and not stressed about. That is true whether I’m trying to lose weight or not. I’ve learned that it is possible to go on vacation and enjoy myself without derailing my weight loss progress.
Because I just got back from vacation, I thought this would be a great time for me to share with you the things that I do on vacation to stay balanced. These things allow me to have fun and indulge, without going overboard with my eating and undoing all of my progress. If you find yourself stressing over what you should and should not eat on vacation, these tips will help you kick stress to the curb so you can start fully enjoying your vacations again!
10 Tips For Staying On Track During Vacation
Tip #1 Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure
My number one tip is not to set yourself up for failure from the very beginning. Sometimes I feel like when we are trying to lose weight and eat healthier it can be easy to set unrealistic expectations. We say things like “I’m not going to eat any fried foods, any desserts, and I’m going to drink only water.” Vacation is to be enjoyed and we should not deprive yourself. In my opinion, when we do this we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Tip #2 Pack Travel Snacks
I find that it’s so important for me to pack snacks for the road, whether I am driving to my destination or flying. While traveling it is inevitable that you will snack, so why not pack healthier options? It’s better to bring healthy snack options with you so you can avoid the unhealthy snack section at the convenient store or airport snack bar. My favorite snacks for traveling are nuts, crackers, healthy granola bars, and healthy fruit bars.
For travel snack ideas you may find this post helpful: 7 Healthy On The Go Snacks That You Can Keep In Your Purse
Tip #3 Pack Indulgences For The Road And Hotel Room
In addition to having snacks for the road for when I get a little hungry, I also like to travel with indulgent treats. When on vacation I believe in having indulgences, but having the healthiest options of those indulgences when I can.
My favorite treats to bring, for when I want a little something sweet, are chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels, and homemade brownies (or brownies with natural ingredients from the health food store).
When I bring these treats with me, on vacation, I know that when I want something sweet I have a healthy option. It’s important for me to note that I don’t pack a crazy amount, because I don’t want to set myself up to overeat on these treats. For example: If I am going on a three day trip, I may bring one or two brownies and a small container of chocolate covered almonds. Enough to enjoy myself, but not so much where I can overeat on treats.
Tip #4 Try Not To Drink Your Calories
Calories in drinks add up really fast. When on vacation, try not to drink your calories. If you are used to ordering a soft drink at each of your meals, try ordering plain or sparkling water with lemon and lime instead. Simply drinking water at meals will save you tons of calories throughout your vacation, but if you do want a soft drink or a glass of wine try limiting it to just one cup or glass.
Tip #5 Check Restaurant Menus Ahead of time
While traveling I feel like it can be a battle finding healthy food options at times. Something that I have started doing, when I can, is checking restaurants in the area before I arrive at my destination. I simply do a quick google search of restaurants in the area and take a look at the menus online. This allows me to get a good idea of the type of food that the restaurant has and then I can make a better decision about where I want to eat. Sometimes unhealthy restaurants overshadow restaurants with good food choices, but if you set aside a little time beforehand, it really makes a difference.
Tip #6 Don’t Go Too Long Between Meals
If you go too long between meals you are bound to overeat at your next meal. When we are overly hungry, good decision making tends to go out the window. Although it’s super important not to go too long between meals I know that sometimes, on vacation, it can be hard to be on a normal eating schedule, especially when you are traveling with other people.
If you are in a situation where you have a while before you’ll be able to eat your next meal, be sure to have snacks in your purse that will help tide you over until you can eat again. Simply having a snack can be the difference between you overeating at your next meal or you being able to make good decisions on what to eat.
Tip #7 Get Vegetables In Where You Can
Try to get in vegetables with your meals whenever you can. Vegetables help to fill us up and they are so good for us because of all of the nutrients in them. Vegetables also add volume to our plates so we get to have more food, without adding a ton more calories, which in my opinion is a great thing! I know it can be hard sometimes to get vegetables in, when eating at certain restaurants, but simply ordering a side salad or an extra side of vegetables will do the trick!
Tip #8 Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important every day, but especially when we are on vacation. I recommend making water your drink of choice. Not only will drinking water help you to avoid the unnecessary calories of sodas and juices, but drinking water throughout the day can help you to eat less overall during the day. When we drink water consistently it helps our body to avoid confusing thirst with hunger, which oftentimes happens when we dehydrated. If you find it hard to drink enough water on vacation, try carrying around a water bottle with you. I know personally that simply having a water bottle with me and sipping throughout the day, in between meals, I always drink much more water.
Tip #9 Watch Your Portions And Stop Eating When You Are Satisfied
Watch your portions and stop eating when you are satisfied, even if you still have food on your plate. Most restaurants serve portions that are way larger than what we should be eating at one meal. Something that I have been doing is midway through eating I ask myself, “Am I still hungry, or am I still eating because I have food on my plate?”
Asking myself this question midway through eating has helped me to slow down and truly learn to listen to my body. Once I’m satisfied I will stop eating and take the rest with me or leave it on the plate. Try this little trick. It really does work! Remember you can always take leftovers with you and eat them later. You don’t have to eat everything all in one sitting.
Tip #10 Figure Out What You Really Want
Sometimes we can feel the need to “live it up” at every meal on vacation. The truth is, that is absolutely unnecessary. Don’t feel the need to get an appetizer, entrée, and dessert at every meal just because you are on vacation. If you decide that you do, indeed, want an appetizer, dessert, or both try sharing with someone. By opting to share, you get what you want without going overboard!
These are the 10 things that I find to be really helpful each time I go on vacation. I’m confident that these tips will help you to enjoy your next vacation, without the stress of wondering what you should and should not eat. Try them out and let me know what you think.
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