It’s summer! Are you planning a fun vacation or getaway? Nervous it will derail your eating plan? I often get asked by clients what they can do to stay on track with healthy eating while they are traveling. It can be a real challenge for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some key tips that I recommend:
- Plan your day. Begin with a healthy breakfast that includes plenty of protein to keep you fuller longer. Resist the temptation to begin your day with a sugary breakfast that will induce cravings later and make it harder to stay on track. Plan or pack your lunch and snacks and get some physical activity in – whether it be extra steps, a swim in the pool or ocean, hiking, running or biking. This will allow you to create a calorie deficit. By doing this you can relax and enjoy your evening. You are on vacation after all! This approach works because it’s a good balance of staying in control but also allows some amount of indulgence.
- Set an exercise goal for the week and stick to it. Set a goal for walking, running, a travel workout, or whatever you enjoy. Aim for a set number of workouts per week. Track your workouts in an app or post on social media for accountability and positive reinforcement.
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake. Add vegetables to snacks, sandwiches, your morning eggs etc. Opt for fruit as a snack as well. They are lower in calories and really filling. Happy hour on the beach? Pack an assortment of plant based snacks to accompany the beverages. Click the link here for my blog post on healthy snacks when traveling.
- Drink (more) water. This is a must. Strive for a goal of half of your body weight (in ounces) or more, especially if you are in the sun most of the day and/or consuming alcohol.
- Focus on protein intake. This can really help to keep you full, deter you from eating heavier carbs, and keep you on track. Aim to have protein at every meal and snack. You can even pack your favorite protein powder or bars to have throughout the week.
- Will you have a kitchen at your vacation destination? If so, shop ahead and stock it with your favorite items. This is one thing I do often when traveling locally. I pack enough for breakfast, lunch and snacks. It definitely saves money and helps me feel more in control. If this isn’t a possibility, shop on the first day that you arrive at your destination. If cooking in, prepare some fun and healthy recipes. Use your favorite websites, blogs, or grocery store magazines for ideas. Many have really good summer editions right now with some fantastic looking recipes.
- Use a food tracker. This is a personal decision and I’ve seen it done a variety of ways. Some people like to let go of their food journal when on vacation, others feel this is a slippery slope and will make things harder for them when they return. You know yourself best and what works for you. You can also do a partial food journal where maybe you track your water, your workouts and the majority of your day up until dinner. Then, for dinner and beyond you can relax a bit and let it go. It’s completely up to you, but if you feel you would still like accountability while away, a tracker can work.
- Set (gentle) boundaries. This looks different for everyone. It might be setting a limit of eating out 1x per day or getting ice cream 2x per week or choosing alcohol vs. a dessert. Decide what it could look like for you and stick to it.
- When dining out, choose which items on the menu you will skip, sample, and enjoy. For example, maybe you will skip the bread basket and dessert, sample the appetizer, and enjoy the entrée
- Be mindful of alcohol intake. The average serving of beer or wine is about 150 calories. Mixed drinks and flavored cocktails can be even higher. If you have factored this into your day, great. If not, be aware that this can add on a lot of unwanted calories and sugar, and it for some it can be a trigger for eating larger portions of foods that they would normally avoid.
- Adopt a “Maintain Don’t Gain” philosophy. Set a goal of maintaining your weight but don’t stress about trying to lose while you are away.
Walk, walk, walk, and walk some more. Being on vacation is a great way of getting plenty of walking in. Whenever possible opt to walk instead of drive. Track your steps daily and see how much you can get in by the end of the trip.
- Walk, walk, walk, and walk some more. Being on vacation is a great way of getting plenty of walking in. Whenever possible opt to walk instead of drive. Track your steps daily and see how much you can get in by the end of the trip.
For more tips like these or to meet with me personally, contact me here