You have been planning this vacation for what seems like a lifetime—and it is finally here. You have researched, booked, and planned everything to the last detail. And most likely, you have tried to be healthy over the past few months so you feel your best on your trip. After all your efforts to eat right and exercise, you may be concerned that it will all go out the window once you are in vacation mode.
Fear not. You can still be healthy during your travels while still staying healthy. Here’s how.
1- Eat slow, enjoy your food!
Food is to be enjoyed—from a green breakfast smoothie to spaghetti to a filet mignon. If you eat your food too quickly, you miss out on the many flavors and benefits of eating at a slow pace.
If you eat too fast, your brain will not recognize that your stomach is full. It actually takes about twenty minutes1 for your brain to send signals that you are satisfied. Eating too quickly can make you feel overly full while eating slowly will leave you feeling satisfied. Other benefits of eating slowly include
- Better digestion
- Ability to eat less
- Better hydration
- Decreased weight gain1
This will be one of the best ways you can stay healthy without missing out on the local cuisine.
We aren’t saying you have to go sweat it out at the gym. But should keep your body moving. If your vacation involves a lot of sightseeing, all that walking will definitely give you a workout. Maybe add a few lunges in the morning and you will be set.
If your dream vacation is more along the lines of lounging on the beach and getting tan, take a minute to take a stroll or go for a long swim, or see if there is a fun fitness class in the area—there might even be one at your hotel! It will be easier to exercise while traveling if you have support. If you are traveling with your partner, have them join you. If you are going with friends, try some fun new exercise routines.
Though you shouldn’t stress too much if you don’t exercise as often as you do at home, there are benefits to exercising while on vacation. In general, you always feel better when you exercise. And it doesn’t have to be a chore but a fun activity like going on a bike ride, rock climbing, kayaking, or swimming.
3- Don’t eat out every single meal
If you are staying in hotel or room without a kitchen, this can be tricky. If you can, book a place with a kitchenette at the least. Plan to eat at least one meal you cook yourself. Before you leave on vacation, do some research about local grocery stores in the area so you can plan some meals ahead of time.
Breakfast will probably be the easiest meal to eat at home. Here are some ideas for breakfast
- Yogurt and granola
- Breakfast burrito
- Fruit salad
- Oatmeal and berries
Another to avoid eating out is to bring your own snacks. This will help you stay away from hotel vending machines or in-room treats.
4- Let yourself indulge every now and then
You will go crazy if you don’t! You are on vacation after all. All you have to do is be a little choosy. If you don’t indulge a little, you may find you will have more cravings than if you have a sweet now and again.
One rule of thumb should be to cut out the treats you can get at home so you can enjoy the local goods. Instead of having a donut from the hotel breakfast buffet, save up for something you may find out and about.
5- Don’t stress
Being healthy is not just about keeping off weight. A great part of vacation is getting a little R&R and pampering your mental health as well as your physical health. Most likely, you’ll only be gone for a week or two. Enjoy yourself now and get back to your routine when you return home.
Still worried? Remember that stress eating is a real thing. If you worry too much about what you are eating while on vacation, you could end up overeating. So, take a deep breath and enjoy your vacation!