Healthy Eating on your Summer Getaway
by Josie De Hoyos, MDS, RD.
With summer well under way, you may be preparing to enjoy a weekend getaway, or maybe have a longer summer vacation in line. While away from our usual day-to-day demands, it’s easy to get caught up in “vacation mode,” especially when it comes to the foods we eat. One recent survey even found up to 70% of travelers reported gaining some weight while traveling. Not to worry though, there’s no need to forgo all the deliciousness we tend to indulge in while vacationing; however, to keep things balanced and to avoid the dreaded vacation sluggishness, keep these tips in mind next time you’re away:
Choose Your Home Away from Home Wisely
When possible, aim to book accommodations that provide a kitchenette, especially for longer vacations. You’re more likely to prepare meals and avoid calorie-laden meals if you have access to a simple stovetop, refrigerator, and microwave. If a kitchenette is out of the question, take advantage of your hotel room’s mini fridge and microwave, if available. Stock up on healthy yogurts, fruit, sandwich fixings, and other foods that can be easily prepared in the comfort of your room. Aim to prepare at least one meal in your hotel room, not only to avoid overindulging, but as an effortless way to save a few bucks too.
Fuel Up at Breakfast
Breakfast is probably one of the easiest meals that you can either prepare yourself or enjoy as part of your hotel’s free breakfast program, and while on vacation, you’ll want to make sure it’s not skipped. Ensuring you eat a wholesome breakfast will help to set the tone for the day and it will be less likely that you’ll overindulge throughout the day. If your hotel does offer a free continental or breakfast buffet, reach for lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruit and vegetables before hitting up the sugar loaded pastries.
You may be thinking you only need to carry snacks when your charges are in tow, but being prepared and having snacks on hand, even while on a solo getaway, is another way to make sure you stay on a healthy track. After settling into your accommodations, find the nearest convenience or grocery store and stock up on a few healthy snacks like unsalted mixed nuts, low in sugar granola bars, and even easily transported fruits like apples and oranges. Having a snack in between meals will make it less likely you’ll overeat when you’re enjoying a restaurant meal and it will help to keep you fueled for your busy days.
Simply put, it’s not a weekend getaway or vacation if you’re not having fun, which pertains to your meals too. Whether you’re wanting to keep your eating in check or hoping to get out and try as many new eateries as possible, moderation is always key. If you find yourself stressing healthy eating on vacation, take a step back and remember that it’s only a short period of time.
Try your best to include healthy foods whenever possible and follow the above tips to help keep things balanced but, at the end of the day, don’t feel bad about enjoying the delicious foods your vacation destination offers.