“Eating healthy on vacation” almost sounds like an oxymoron, right? Well it doesn’t have to be, and understanding that sooner rather than later will avoid the all too familiar, “Oh my god I’ve put on 4 kgs in 3 weeks!” Being on vacation does mean that we’re allowed to divert from our usual diet plan and and fitness regime, but that shouldn’t give you a free pass to let go completely. Just remember how difficult it is to get back on track if you fall off the health wagon.
So here it is – eating healthy on vacation can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Now before completely rejecting the idea of health food on holiday, you can be rest assured that this article is not going to suggest eating salads all day, so lighten up!
1. Eat healthy and exercise before you travel
In the weeks leading up to your vacation, try and ensure that you eat well, exercise everyday, drink lots of water, and catch plenty of zzz’s. When the healthy lifestyle becomes routine, it will be much harder to break, even on holiday. Because deep down you wouldn’t want all those burpees and spinach dinners to go to waste!
2. Pre-plan for flight food
Flight food is known to be packed with preservatives. So if you’re on a short flight, you can always eat beforehand and avoid the meal they offer on the airplane. If it’s a longer flight, you can call the airline and ask about your options or select your meal in advance via their website.
3. Pack snacks for the road
What’s a road trip without snacks? Now you wouldn’t want to be munching on cucumbers while everyone else has cracked open cold ones and devoured a bag of chips. So get creative with your snacks. How about whole wheat crackers with hummus dip? Or a peanut butter and banana sandwich? Yoghurt and granola is a great option too! Quick tip – stay away from vending machine snacks, it’s so easy to go overboard with those.
4. Don’t skip meals
While this one’s a thumb rule for all times, it is especially necessary on vacation. When you’re travelling, there’s a lot more opportunity to eat unhealthy. So if you’ve skipped a meal, you might think that you’re allowed to go all out in your next meal, and you’ll end up consuming more calories in that one meal than you did in the whole day before it. A side note – Caffeine is not a meal.
5. Pace yourself with meals
On holidays there’s so much to do and so many things to see, that a vacation which was meant to be relaxing, ends up getting super hectic and rushed. Don’t let that rub off onto your meal time. Take your time to savour every bite, enjoy the view, stretch your legs. Basically, just slow down, so that you don’t gobble up your food and land up consuming more than you need.
6. Pick the bounty of the day
This one’s for when you’re eating at a restaurant. When you visit a new place, find out what foods are famous there. Every place has some fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce. So when ordering at a restaurant, find out which is the freshest meat of the day, and opt for a grilled version rather than a fried one. Quick tip – avoid the buffets and all-you-can-eat meals, because it brings on the compulsion of doing justice to the quantity offered, aka overeating.
7. Indulge when you really want to
You’re on vacation and it’s your time to indulge. Let’s face it – you’re bound to be tempted by unhealthy foods, and that’s okay. If you really want that ice cream, just have it. The worst thing is to feel deprived on vacation, so cut yourself some slack (and a piece of cake)!
Hope these tips help for your next holiday. What are your best on-the-go diet and fitness tips? Tell us in the comments below.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar