For many people, eating amazing food is one of the best parts of going on vacation. Whether you’re jetting off to a Caribbean beach resort, a charming European town, or a chic hotel in Tokyo, trying all the different foods a foreign culture has to offer is both fun and educational. Unfortunately, this means it’s easy to bring back a few extra pounds along with your other souvenirs. But don’t resign yourself to gaining weight on vacation yet. These seven tips can help you maintain your figure next time you go on a trip.
1. Pack your own snacks.
All that money you saved using promo codes for Expedia was already spent on snacks. Congratulations! You’re already on step 1!
When you’re traveling and hungry, it can be all too easy to grab a snack from the vending machine or the corner bakery, even if that’s not the healthiest choice. To avoid giving in to cravings, plan ahead. Stock your backpack or purse with something nutritious and satisfying, like fruit, protein bars, or string cheese.
2. Practice moderation at the breakfast buffet.
The sausage, waffles, and doughnuts at the breakfast buffet might look tempting, but do your best to exercise a little self-control during the first meal of the day. Keeping your breakfast on the lighter side will give you more energy to explore your destination, and you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to indulge later on. Fresh fruit, yogurt, and eggs are all good ways to start your morning. As for drinks, skip the sugary fruit juices in favor of coffee, tea, or water. You’ll thank yourself later!
3. Hit the grocery store.
Eating out is always fun when you’re on vacation, but if you can avoid eating every meal at a restaurant, you’ll save a lot of calories (and money!). Take advantage of nearby grocery stores to find healthier – but still tasty – fare. If your hotel or hostel has a kitchen stocked with cookware, your options are limited only by your willingness to cook. If cooking isn’t an option, whole-grain sandwiches with lean meat and veggies are a good choice. Pick up some healthy snacks like nuts, hummus, and fruit, too.
4. Get moving.
Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean slacking off on your exercise routine. In fact, all the free time you have on vacation provides you the perfect opportunity to sneak in some extra activity. An early-morning outdoor run or a sweat session at the hotel gym will boost your energy level for hours afterwards, and you’ll be able to enjoy an extra treat later in the day without any guilt. If you’re traveling with your family, get them in on your workouts, too. Consider going hiking or swimming, which are great activities for adults and kids alike.
5. Focus on nutrition.
If you try to limit your calories at restaurants, you’ll only end up feeling deprived. Instead, focus on getting lots of nutrition from your food. You’ll naturally choose healthier, lower-calorie options that still deliver plenty of flavor. Scan the menu for meals that contain lean protein, whole grains, and veggies, and steer clear of anything deep-fried or greasy.
6. Choose your indulgences wisely.
It wouldn’t be vacation if you didn’t enjoy some out-of-the-ordinary treats, so don’t feel guilty about indulging now and then. Just be smart about it. Balance rich desserts with sensible meals, and pace yourself when you go out for drinks. Consider sipping on lighter beverages like wine or vodka soda instead of fruity cocktails, which can pack a lot of calories due to the sugary syrups they contain.
7. Explore on foot.
Walking is a simple workout that you can do anytime, anywhere. Staying on your feet throughout the day will help counterbalance the inevitable diet-related slip-ups that happen while you’re traveling, so lace up your walking shoes and get to know your vacation spot by taking a stroll. Extra walking doesn’t just keep you healthy – it also lets you get to know the charming nooks and crannies of your travel destination that you might miss if you only got around by car or subway.
Vacation doesn’t have to spell doom for your waistline. In fact, traveling can actually help you get moving and create new healthy habits. Next time you travel, keep these tips in mind, and you won’t have to dread stepping on the scale when you return home.