Eating healthy on vacation can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort to come home feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and well! It is not usually possible to read all the labels or prepare all of your own food while on vacation, but healthy eating can be easy and delicious with a little planning.
When heading out of town, your first stop is usually the airport. Eating a healthy meal prior to arrival helps stave off snaking while waiting for a flight. Airports are not known for delicious cuisine, but during a layover you may find yourself fighting hunger. In this situation, search out some yogurt, fruit, salad or nuts – or bring some with you – as a healthy alternative to those airport nachos. Bringing along healthy snacks is always a good idea to fight off those sudden urges to eat. Make sure to bring healthy alternatives like nuts, dried fruits, and even vegetables.
Finally, choosing a health-friendly hotel can make your decision to stay healthy on vacation that much easier. Many hotels now offer bottled water in the rooms, workout facilities and healthier menu items at restaurants. When booking a room, check with the booking agency or concierge for such features. Often times hotel information can be misleading, which is why I have turned to consumer reviews for help. On a recent trip I found a great site that listed reviews on all aspects that need to be considered called Gogobot. I traveled down south to Florida and pulled up a list of reviews for Miami hotels regarding their amenities, the restaurants in the area, even things to do. This made it easier than ever to plan ahead and ensure I could stay healthy, even in one of the most non-nutritious cities in the world. When you come home from vacation rested and relaxed without any extra pounds, you’ll thank yourself for doing a little extra preparation.
When you arrive, your hotel room will become your home-away-from-home for the coming days or weeks, so why not treat it like one? Many hotel rooms offer refrigerators; microwaves and coffee makers included so put these to work for you. Items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grain breads and yogurt can be eaten cold and require no preparation. Soups can be prepared in the microwave or with hot water from the coffeemaker. In addition, bringing along a small hotplate or crock-pot can allow for healthy home cooked meals even away from home! Hotel room service may also be able to make healthy menu suggestions or accommodations.
Eating at restaurants can be fun and delicious while on vacation. Restaurants often provide an opportunity to sample local cuisine. When eating at a restaurant, however, it is important to pay attention to portion sizes and ingredients to make a tasty and healthy choice. Restaurants often serve large portions. Overlarge portion sizes can be tempting when you are hungry, but carrying around extra pounds after a splurge is not so tempting. Many menus helpfully highlight healthy choices to make the decision easier. If yours does not, some key words to look for include: whole grain, high fiber, low fat, lite, baked, broiled and steamed. All these can indicate a healthy dish. As a general rule, dishes smothered in sauces, butter and cheeses, or fried foods will all be much higher in calories. If you are unsure, ask your waiter about healthy menu choices.
While on vacation it is also important to remember water, but this doesn’t mean a dip in the pool. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water will keep cravings from popping up and help you stay full longer. Water also helps with digestion and staying regular which is a common problem for vacationers.
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