Article By Cole Millen
Whether you are cutting calories for weight loss or just becoming more health-conscious, one of the hardest things to do is keep yourself healthy while you’re on a vacation. Healthy living starts with a healthy diet, and it can be a struggle to stay on top of the dining practices you have developed at home with a regular schedule. Although traveling changes your options and introduces an abundance of unhealthier choices to pick from, it is very possible to still maintain a healthy diet and choose the best foods available for you and your family with a little bit of planning ahead.
When flying, it is best to eat prior to your flight. By eating a healthy meal before you arrive at the airport, you are less likely to indulge in many of the unhealthy, fast food options available at most airports. If you have a connecting flight and are unable to get by with just your pre-flight meal, it is a good idea to walk around the airport once you arrive to determine what your healthiest option might be. Look for fresh fruit and salads or veggie-packed options over more greasy, fried meats and oily dishes. Another option is to pack some healthier snacks, like chocolate-free trail mixes and pretzels, at home and bring them with you to tide you over.
If you’ll be staying in a hotel on your vacation, saying no to the minibar is step number one in avoiding sudden snack urges. If you must have in-room snack options during your vacation, swing by a health food store to get a variety of healthy snacks and maybe even some fresh fruits and vegetables for your room. If you want to go the room service route for meals, try speaking to the kitchen staff about what health-conscious options are available; many hotels will happily accommodate guests and may even have more ideas for healthy meals than you had expected. Even when ordering standard menu items from the kitchen, consider substitutions; low-fat, grilled skinless chicken breasts are a healthier substitute for fried chicken options, for example.
It is also good to use Google during your trip planning stage to identify healthy friendly hotels and areas in your destination city. Many websites feature user reviews and traveler opinions. I personally use a great site that I found a few months back called Gogobot. I was looking through a list of reviews for Las Vegas hotels and was able to find information regarding restaurants, hotels, even things to do. This made it ever so easy to plan out my vacation to ensure a healthy week. Also for ease of use, try your browser’s search feature to locate keywords like “eating healthy” and “health foods” to find relevant healthy eating vacation tips.
Breakfast is one of the easiest meals that you can introduce healthier foods into your traveling diet. Whether you’re receiving continental breakfast at your hotel or dining out, load up on fiber filled fruits, low fat yogurts for healthy protein, and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal.
When dining out on your next vacation, be sure to make good restaurant decisions to ensure you can meet your dietary needs while satisfying your taste buds. Avoiding all you can eat buffets and search out salad bars and menus with plenty of fish options. An easy rule of thumb when traveling is that restaurants with mascots are generally bad news for good health decisions. No matter what you eat, consider baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, and steamed options, all of which are generally healthier than the fried, battered, smothered, and bottomless alternatives. Try to identify low-fat menu options and work with your waiter to find the perfect healthy option.
Staying healthy while on a vacation does not have to be difficult. While it does take time to do effective research and to be intentional about what to eat, it is worth it. The body feels great while on vacation and is relaxed when it is time to go home.