Healthy Food Options on Vacation
You may think I’m crazy, but there is a way to maintain your ideal weight and make the right eating choices while relaxing in paradise. “But it’s vacation!” you scream into your LCD screen. Trust me, I know. Summer is certainly here, and that means that beach season is right around the corner. This is a time where you’re allowed to relax and unwind a bit. You’ve earned it! But don’t confuse a vacation away from home with a vacation away from your fitness goals. You've put so much work into your body, so don't lose it with a week of poor eating choices. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it’s definitely possible. So if you want to maintain a healthy weight, and come back from vacation as lean as you left, keep these seven tips in mind.
1. Eat Breakfast
I'm sure you've heard it before. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it is. Thankfully most hotels agree, and usually have an abundant morning feast sprawled out for their guests. Take advantage of the food options, but don't be gluttonous! Opt for some low glycemic index carbohydrates such as whole wheat toast, oatmeal, or fresh fruit. Include some protein, too. Have some scrambled eggs or a glass or two of milk.
2. Bring Food With You.
Vacation can get expensive, and eating out all the time can wreak havoc on your waistline and your wallet. In order to keep your metabolism going without overdoing it on excess calories, healthy food options on-the-go are a smart move. Put an apple in your backpack, a high-fiber protein bar, or a prepared protein shake or smoothie. When you're hungry on the beach, but don't feel like heading to the boardwalk for cheese fries, you'll be glad you packed a healthy snack.
3. Don't Overdo It On the Drinks.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages on vacation, but be smart about what you order! Grab a light beer instead of its heavy adversary. Skip the piña colada and sip on a rum and diet coke. Alcohol is alcohol, but how you drink it is your choice. My advice: save your calories for delicious foods, and keep the drinks simple and light.
Whether you're in a foreign country, or just relaxing at the beach, you're going to want to take in the sights. What better way to do that than by walking? Don't waste time renting a car if you're in a city. Lace up your cross trainers, get out the door, and see what this exciting new place is all about.
5. Work Out!
Maybe it's your much-needed week off from the gym, but if not, get a workout in! Most hotels have recreational facilities, and the ones who don't sometimes have joint memberships with fitness clubs in the area. So if you want to get some gym time in, but don't see a fitness center in the lobby, ask the receptionist what your options are. Worse comes to worse, you make your own luck. Do some pushups in the hotel room, swim laps in the pool, or go for a jog. If you're near a beach, run barefoot along the sand right near the shoreline. This is great for your feet and joints, as the soft sand has less impact on your body than hard pavement.
6. Drink Water!
Staying hydrated is not only important for your general well-being, but also in maintaining a healthy body weight. Water aids metabolism, and is the driving force that spreads nutrients to the body. If you're in a hot climate, bring a big water bottle or thermos, and don't be afraid to refill it!
7. Eat From the Street!
You heard me! Eat some street food! Almost anywhere you go in the world - if the weather's warm - people will be selling food outside. This is a great time to both sample some ethnic cuisine, and to keep your meals small and spread out. Fresh fruit stands and grills brimming with meats are ubiquitous in countries with warm climates.
There's a way to have fun on vacation without throwing your body into a caloric overload. Eat the right foods when you can, walk the streets instead of taking a taxi, and stay active! It's easy to get lazy on vacation, but why would you want to? You've put hard work into your body for the 51 other weeks of the year. Why ruin it with one? Take the tips I listed above to heart, and keep your body weight exactly where you want it.
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