Sticking to a diet and exercise program while traveling can be a major challenge. It is important to remember that a healthy diet is a way of life, and just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to leave your health at home with your day job. Planning and awareness can go a long way toward maintaining your healthy lifestyle and making decisions you can be proud of. Here are some tips to help you take home only memories and not extra pounds.
At home we have our routine of when and where we drink water. Away from home it is easier to lose track of that intake. Make a habit of keeping a water bottle with you all the time. Freezing bottles the night before can not only keep your cooler cold, but also ensure that you don’t have hot, stale water by the end of your drive. Also, filling a 32oz-insulated mug with just ice at the hotel icemaker, will keep you in fresh water longer.
Pack Meals and Snacks
Gas stations and fast food restaurants are making it easier to choose healthy foods while traveling, but they still have a long way to go. Use small baggies or containers to pack healthy portions of the snacks you eat at home. Stick peanut buttered celery sticks together, mix a handful of nuts with a serving of fat-free pretzels, bag plain baby carrots and pre-wash a selection of fresh fruits. These smaller portions of readily available, healthy foods will keep you from giving in to the siren’s call of candy bars and five-servings-per-bag potato chips.
Let Go of Guilt
The fun of traveling is encountering new things, but try to be picky about your food experiences. Split dishes with your companions, ask for kid sized portions, and pick foods that are as close to their original form as possible; less processing, preparation and saucing equals less calories. Plan for one culinary indulgence a day and don’t stress if you slip. Just try to make healthier decisions for the rest of the day.
Yes, a vacation is all about relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay sitting down. Take walking tours, park further away from attractions, rent a bicycle or paddle boat, and take advantage of the hotel pool to do more than work on your tan. Getting extra exercise will burn those calories from rich foods and help you sleep better in that strange hotel bed. Also, if you’re in the habit of working out at home, bring your DVD’s or yoga mat with you and stick as close to your normal routine as possible.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Lack of sleep inevitably leads to bad decisions. Take the time to get a full night’s sleep or indulge in afternoon naps. Catching up on your zzzz’s will help you avoid over-eating and the irritable attitude that leads to just giving up on trying to make healthy choices.