Taking a vacation doesn't mean that all of your hard work needs to be undone in one week, but it also doesn't mean you need to restrict your food choices. You can eat healthy and still have fun!
Sometimes, when you plan a trip, you think long and hard about what you'll eat before, and how much you'll work out to have your ultimate #vacationbod. But have you outlined a nutrition plan for your trip?
If you haven't, it's time to rethink your strategy. Or maybe you've told yourself you'll only eat at specific times, or only certain types of foods. But without accounting for a few #treatyourself moments, you'll wind up beating yourself up for "falling off the wagon."
Here are 7 tips to eat clean(ish) while on vacation:
1. Keep an eye on portions
If you are staying at a resort, or somewhere that you have access to buffet-style dining (or even attending restaurants that serve large portions), think about how much you really need to consume.
When possible, ask for a takeout container when you get your meal, that way you can store half away for later (you might be hungry again when you get back to your hotel). Heading to the restaurant with a friend? Pick some appies and share a large salad.
2. Skip the high-calorie drinks
If you're on a beach, it can be intriguing to ask for the Piña Colada. If you're really craving it, go for one, then swap it for clear liquor (like vodka or gin), with soda water and lemon or lime (or flavoured soda water).
Even better? Add in a glass of water, or straight club soda every time you have an alcoholic drink. This will keep you from filling on sugary drinks (and make the hangover a little easier the next day).
3. Avoid fried foods
This should just be a rule all of the time. Deep fried anything (especially from a restaurant), likely means that oils are being used for the better part of the day. When they are kept at such a high temperature all day long, it changes their chemical makeup and promotes the production of free radicals. And free radicals mean a whole host of other issues, both short and long term.
On top of this, deep fried foods are more likely to promote an inability for you to hold in the food you just ate (and leaving you running for the bathroom rather than enjoying your time exploring).
Oh, and we don't need to mention the excess calories.
4. Choose high-protein
Whether you're lounging on a beach, or exploring a new city, being hangry is never fun–for you or the people you're with. This is especially true when it gets in the way of your vacation time.
Loading up on high-protein meals, especially at breakfast, will help to keep you full later in the day, and less likely to reach for that "treat" when you don't really want, or need it.
5. Treat yourself
Many cities and towns have foods that they're known for. Or maybe you've scoured Instagram for all the hot spots that you just need to go to. Don't avoid them. A few meals, a donut here and there, or that specialty ice cream cone, won't derail your weight loss. In fact, not depriving yourself, can help you to stay on track when you get back.
Choose one place each day where you can "treat yourself", whether it's extra dessert, or getting that burger... WITH the bun.
6. Check out local markets
An easy way to eat healthy, and experience the local community is by heading to a local food market, like a farmer's market.
You're more likely to purchase vegetables (and actually use them), and explore produce that you might not normally pick up. Grab some snacks, like portable fruit (go for local choices that you don't normally have fresh at home), or bread from a local baker, that you can bring with you while touring around.
7. Bring snacks
Ways to keep from getting hangry 101: bring snacks. Even better? Bring snacks for you and your travel buddy.
Keep your blood sugar steady by eating small meals throughout the day, or including snacks, like fruit with nut butter, protein balls, or unsweetened yogurt with berries.