Don’t let your good eating habits go out the window on vacation.
You’ve been disciplined about your diet for weeks now and are starting to see some progress in how you feel and how your clothes fit. But now your vacation is approaching.
Do you take a vacation from your diet, too, so you can enjoy all those delicious treats? Or do you stay on task but feel deprived?
Don’t worry — it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We have tips for how you can stick to your diet while you travel, no deprivation necessary.
- Pack healthy snacks: When you fly or drive, you may wind up eating junk out of convenience. Pack carrot sticks, cheese and crackers, nuts or fruits, and drink lots of water. Find more ideas here.
- Eat less: Go ahead and try some special high-calorie foods that you wouldn’t normally have at home, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Just share it with someone or only take a sampling.
- Watch the drinks: A light beer has 100 calories, Weight Watchers says, but a creamy Pina Colada can pack in 450! Also look for mixed drinks that feature soda water and not sugary fillers, if you have to have a drink. Don’t waste your calories on soda — drink water instead.
- Make smart, fast choices: At a fast food restaurant, look for grilled options instead of fried and share French fries. Better yet, get a side salad. Ask for condiments on the side.
- Beware the buffet: Facing a huge cruise ship buffet? Survey the options, choose exotic items you can’t get at home, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies and sit far away from the temptations.
- Plan for restaurants: Look at menus in advance or go online to estimate calorie counts, if you are trying to stick to a certain number. Make smart food choices that emphasize produce, whole grains and lean proteins. Eat dessert less often. Look for common stumbling blocks and solutions here.
- Burn calories, too: A vacation isn’t all about eating! Schedule in some active fun — dancing, kayaking, walks, bike rides. Do a few laps in the hotel pool or play tag with your kids before floating around in an inner tube.
Finally, cut yourself a break if you do overindulge. As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says, a few days won’t cause you lasting harm. Just make sure you get back on track when you return.
At Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, we can help you find and stick to an appropriate diet, depending on your medical needs. We offer nutrition counseling on an outpatient basis for our diabetic patients and have registered dietitians to help with therapeutic diets. For additional information, call the Food and Nutrition Services Department at (305) 682-7000 x7334.