Dieting is challenging at the best of times, and when you go on vacation, all bets are off. At home you can create routines and habits that support your lifestyle change, but new environments are filled with temptation. Don’t fear though, even though it is harder to stick to a diet while on vacation, it is possible. Enjoy your vacation without throwing your progress out the window with these 10 tips.
1. Plan Your Meals
Impulsive meals out are the biggest diet killer. On vacation, it’s all too tempting to adopt the mindset that you deserve to splurge. While you do deserve to treat yourself, overeating is only going to make you feel worse when all is said and done. Instead of making every meal a big affair, enjoy one meal out per day and eat in your hotel room for the rest. Plan meals and shop ahead of time so it’s easier to make the right choices when hunger calls.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
You know that staying hydrated is the first step in curbing cravings, so don’t let good hydration habits fall to the wayside while on vacation. Rather than spending money on overpriced bottled water, pack a reusable water bottle wherever you go.
3. Schedule an Early Workout
You want to see everything when you go on vacation, which means you’re probably not going to make that 11 a.m. yoga class. Instead of trying to fit in a midday workout, wake up early so you can squeeze in some exercise before the rest of the world wakes up.
4. Limit Drinking
No matter your drink of choice, alcohol is a total calorie bomb. Avoid indulging in drinks with dinner and brunch, and limit the number of drinks you consume when you do partake. You’ll save money, protect your waistline, and enjoy clearer memories of your travels. If you want something to sip on, sparkling water with lime is a low-calorie, refreshing alternative, and no one will know it’s nonalcoholic.
5. Walk Everywhere
If your destination is within walking distance, walk. A little further? Ride a bike. Stay active while you explore, rather than relying on cabs and ride shares to get around. It’s a simple way to burn calories.
6. Pack Snacks
Traveling means long days exploring local attractions, and you’re sure to work up an appetite with all that walking. However, local shops tend to be filled with carb-heavy and sugar-loaded snacks that, while delicious, aren’t good for your diet. Pack individual portions of healthy snacks before each outing so you have a convenient option to turn to.
7. Plan Active Outings
It’s not hard to sneak exercise into your vacation when your vacation itself is active. Plan activities that get you moving, like a walking tour or a surfing lesson. You’ll get to experience everything your destination has to offer without sacrificing healthy habits.
8. Bring Your Own Gym
If your hotel doesn’t have a fitness center and you can’t exercise outdoors, pack your own gym instead. A yoga mat, resistance bands, a jump rope, and even a portable kettle bell will fit into your luggage and provide a full-body workout away from home.
9. Visit a Farmers Market
To explore the local food scene without overindulging, hit the farmers’ market instead of another bakery or cafe. You’ll get a taste of the local flavor as you marvel at stand after stand of fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables.
10. Research Restaurants
Before you try out the hip restaurant you’ve heard all about, view their menu to get a feel for the options. Are there healthy entrees or is everything loaded with butter and cheese? While you don’t need to order a salad for every meal, choosing a restaurant with healthy fare sets you up to make good choices at the dinner table.
Even with these tips, your diet progress might stall on vacation — and that’s ok. As long as you’re not gaining weight, you’re still on track toward meeting your goals. Don’t let your weight loss goals take over your vacation. Instead, relax, enjoy yourself, and focus on making healthy choices where you can.
Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you.