Whether you are camping or staying in a hotel, vacations can wreck havoc with your healthy eating habits. While a few indulgences are okay now and then (everything in moderation) it is important to maintain healthy eating habits while you are away from home. But how do you do that when you have no control over what you eat? In reality, you have the same control over what you eat away from home as you do at home.
Drink water – not just a glass but up to eight glasses a day. Doing this will keep you hydrated as well help stave off hunger. Bottled water is available just about everywhere these days and is easily consumed.
Earn your desserts by walking. Anytime you are on vacation, instead of hopping in a taxi or driving down to the local store, take a walk. Exercising can both boost your metabolism and burn calories. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to a gym while on vacation. Taking the stairs instead of an escalator, walking to your destination, or even going for an after-dinner stroll will help keep your metabolism going. Even if your vacation involves riding a train across country, you can still walk up and down the train to get your body moving. Stuck in an airport? Try walking around the terminals.
Allow yourself to snack between meals – as long as your snack is healthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables can often be purchased at a local grocery store, convenience store or farmer’s market as can protein bars, crackers, or unsalted nuts. Healthy snacking can help prevent the urge to splurge, especially on those enormous ice cream cones or frosted pastries.
Have a salad with your meals. Order your salad dressing on the side so you can use it sparingly. In addition, skip the croutons or any bread brought with your meal.
Order fresh fruits with your meals. Most restaurants offer this option if you ask for it or substitute something else for it, such as French fries.
Skip the alcohol. Believe it or not, alcohol is loaded with calories. While you are on vacation, you may think one little drink won’t count when it fact it will. One strawberry margarita contains about 300 calories per serving. And a pina colada is a whopping 400 calories. Even a long island ice tea will put you back around 225 calories.
Want to try a new dessert? Share it with someone else. You’re likely to enjoy it just as much without gaining all the guilt.
If you are camping, pack smart portions of fat free muffins for breakfasts as well as some protein bars for snacks. Low fat puddings can be kept in a cooler along with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and other vegetables for slicing with meals. If you are into roasting hotdogs, low fat hotdogs or turkey hotdogs are available as are veggie burgers for grilling. If your family enjoys scrambled eggs while camping, switch to egg beaters. Egg beaters mixed with vegetables and low fat cheese will make a filling breakfast and will cut back on the calories and fat.
Write what you bite – in other words, keep track of what you are eating. For example, if you had a Belgian waffle for breakfast, you may want to opt for a lighter lunch. Want a big steak for dinner? Try a healthy breakfast and lunch to offset the caloric intake. Keeping track of what you are eating will help you make better decisions at each meal.
Maintaining healthy eating while on vacation will make your body feel good as well as help make the transition back from your vacation easier.