Guest Blog: How to Vacation Without Putting on the Pounds

suitcasesVacations are a time to relax and forget about everyday stresses. For those who are working on losing weight and living healthy, vacations are riddled with challenges. Temptations are common on vacations, and sticking to your daily caloric intake can be difficult. However, there are some simple steps vacationers can take to ease these common travel challenges. Here are a few tips:

Avoid Air Travel Temptations.  Before leaving for the airport, many travelers forget to eat.  As a result, travelers often pick up snacks at the airport or eat food on the airplane. By setting aside time to eat a meal before heading to the airport, it is possible to avoid these temptations. In addition, healthy high fiber snacks can often help alleviate hunger on long flights. It should be noted, however, that most airports now have healthy options for travelers. The key issue is to be mindful of those healthier options and then keep your health goals in mind as you select your airport food.

Be Careful in Hotels.  Hotels often make it easy to sabotage your diet. Vacationers are encouraged to avoid minibars at all costs; minibars are filled with unhealthy options, and travelers can avoid both excess calories and expense by avoiding them. One option to consider is planning a trip to a local grocery store to purchase some basic foods to assemble meals.  Simple meals can be assembled in a small crock pot or other appliance. Even a healthy frozen dinner can be zapped in a microwave if available, and this option will be lower in both sodium and calories  than most restaurant foods.  A sandwich made with whole grain bread filled with some lean meat and accompanied by fresh fruit is also a calorie conscious meal option while on vacation.

Prepare for Restaurants. Dining out is an essential and pleasant aspect of vacations, and travelers want to ensure that they take advantage of local cuisine. Before leaving for a restaurant, however, it may be wise to find the menu online and determine what you want to order beforehand. In addition, reading reviews of local restaurants from other travelers in the area can help you to find a healthy restaurant even if you are staying in a geographical area with plenty of buffets.  Being aware of menu “watch” words is also very important.  Avoiding foods labeled as battered, bottomless, or buttered can help your waistline. Fortunately, many restaurants now list how many calories are contained in particular meals, and online information can help as well. Choosing meals with fewer calories does not mean that you are missing out on local flavor, and those who do some research can enjoy dining out without having to worry about eating too many calories.

Vacations are essential for both mental and physical health, but those looking to eat well to stay healthy will need to prepare. Fortunately, vacationers now have a number of tools to help them along the way, and travel does not have to mean that extra weight will follow you home.

How do you eat smart while traveling?

Cole Millen is an avid traveler and self-described “foodie” who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.”