If you're like most people, going on vacation is not something you get to do very often. As such, you may feel the urge to "treat" yourself to foods you would not normally indulge in at home. Although an occasional dessert or fried temptation will not harm you, frequently making those food choices during your vacation will only lead to regret.
First of all, by making poor food choices during your vacation, you could end up establishing a bad-eating habit that will be hard to break once you return home. Secondly, choosing the wrong foods means you'll have less energy for activities during your vacation. Last (but certainly not least) you may be in for a surprise a few days later when you get ready to don a swimsuit!
Now that you're convinced of the importance of eating healthy on vacation, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover how easy it is to actually do.
Eating in Route
Flying to your destination? These days, it's easier than ever to request a low-fat or vegetarian meal on an airplane flight! If your flight does not provide meals, you should consider bringing along a healthy snack in your carry-on bag. Fruit, nuts, trail mix, or beef jerky are good choices.
Making it a road trip instead? You do not have to rely on a roadside drive-through to feed your family along the way. Bring yourself a cooler full of ice packs, and fill it with fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, bottled water, and sandwich meats. Carry along some bread, crackers, and trail mix, and you'll be ready on-the-spot for a healthy roadside picnic!
Once you arrive
If you will be staying in a hotel with a minibar, do yourself a favor – turn down the key. It's better to completely avoid the temptation. If your lodging offers a continental or buffet breakfast, stick to the fruits, low-sugar cereals, and proteins. Just be sparing on the fattier proteins like bacon and sausage! Avoid donuts and pastries at all cost, as they are full of empty calories, sugar, and fat. If your hotel has a stove or microwave, consider bringing your own healthy food with you.
When you do eat out at a restaurant, do so only when you're hungry. Just be careful not to over-do-it. Remember that most restaurants serve large portions, and depending on your entree selection you may also receive salad and bread as part of your meal. With this in mind, it is generally best to skip ordering any appetizers. The less food in front of you, the less you will be tempted to eat. If you do go a little overboard on one meal, however, simply cut back on the next.
If you find it difficult to fit in three well-balanced meals a day, then try to fit in five or six smaller meals or snacks. Your body really needs fuel about every four hours anyway. Whatever you do, do not skip any meals.
Things to Remember
Choose fish or poultry for your meal instead of heavier red meat, and be sure to include plenty of vegetables as a side dish. When possible, avoid eating large meals in the evening. As your body gets ready for sleep, it slows down and burns calories at a much slower pace. Never eat bread before bed, and be sure to avoid butter.
As you now know, eating healthy while on vacation really is not all that difficult. The hardest part is exercising your will power to pass up the foods you know are not good for you. The most important thing to remember is that eating healthy is a way of life (whether you're out on vacation or making meals at home). Your choice to eat healthy does not mean you can not still afford to feed a craving now and then, it just means that you should not make a habit of it. The key is knowing when to stop.