By Rebecca Behr, Keene State College Dietetic Intern
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle on vacation can be a real challenge. Here are 10 practical tips to keep in mind on your adventure!
- Don’t forget to eat your fruits and vegetables.
The fiber in fruits and vegetables help to keep your bowels regular and keep your body nourished. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in fruits and veggies keep the immune system strong so that you can enjoy your vacation free of sickness.
- Make time for exercise.
There are lots of ways to make time for physical activity on your vacation. One way is to incorporate it into the itinerary. Rent bikes, go for a walk or pick a hotel with a gym. Get the whole family involved with beach games like Frisbee or volleyball!
- Watch portion sizes when eating out.
Over the past 20 years, restaurant and packaged food portions have grown significantly. Often one plate at the average restaurant is enough to feed two or three people! Be aware of this and pack up the other half, or split a dish or dessert with a friend or family member. Don’t deprive yourself of special treats on vacation, but consider using moderation.
- Research restaurants ahead of time.
If you’re a planner, try adding restaurant research into the process. Do a Google search of the area where you’ll be staying so you can pinpoint the restaurants that have healthier options your whole family will like. Most places post menus on their website and are reviewed on Yelp.
- Prepack healthy snacks.
Having a snack on hand can prevent you from turning to convenience items on the run. Fruit can be very portable or cut up veggies, dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly, or trail mix.
- Be careful not to drink your calories.
Cocktails tend to be loaded with sugar and high in calories. Of course, you’re on vacation and might want to unwind with a couple of drinks. Some lower calorie options are light beers, vodka sodas, or red or white wine. As always, consume alcohol in moderation, if you choose to drink.
- Drink water.
Traveling can dehydrate you. You may be out in the sun for long periods of time or so busy that you forget to drink water. Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go and have water with your meals.
- Cook some of your meals.
Making some meals yourself will save on the sodium, fat, sugar — and money. Eating out can get expensive very quickly, especially when you’re feeding a group. If your room has a small kitchen, utilize it for a few of your meals.
- Get your R&R.
Rest and relaxation helps to reduce stress levels and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you can, leave work at home and resist the urge to check emails. Focus on having fun, even if that means turning off your phone for a few hours.
- Treat ‘Yo-self.’
You’re on vacation for goodness sake! If you’re going to try a delectable treat, now is the time. The key is not to go overboard. Share your portions with someone, or try to keep your treats to one per day. Either way, enjoy them!