Eating on Vacation

Perhaps the biggest test of faith for eating sensibly is the one you have while on vacation.  The temptation of all-you-can-eat meals, family influence, and the ideology of throwing everything out the window you have while on vacation may do more harm for your body in the long run.  Ruining your diet for a week or so may not seem like a bad idea for those of you who have worked all year to earn it, but compromising sensible eating will only leave you with feelings of self-defeat and weeks of trying to lose the weight that you have gained.  Here are some tips on not blowing your diet while away from home.

Breakfasting while away

Everybody can argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.   Having a hotel that serves a continental breakfast may give you just enough ammunition for you to fall off your wagon.  Skip the fatty bagels, bear claws, and muffins and go for the fruit and fiber-enriched cereals instead.  You never know where the day is going to take you and when you will want to play your wild card.  If your hotel doesn’t offer a continental breakfast, your best bet may be to go to a local grocery store and stock up light options in advance.  The key here is self control and well planning.

Eating out on your vacay

Eating out while on vacation may offer the most challenges.  First off, you are out of your comfort zone because you are not preparing your meals yourself.  Added ingredients, sauces, and extra calories may be lurking in the dishes that sound most palatable.   Secondly, portion size may be much larger than what you are used, posing risks for your calorie intake, which you are probably not counting for the sake of vacation anyway.  What to do?

Be smart– Order the grilled versions instead of the fried ones.  Probably the hardest rule to live by, but the most rewarding one if you can make it happen.  Substitutions may take play here, and having a baked potato instead of french fries, ordering dressing on the side, and shopping on the healthy choice menu are all good rules to live by.

Portion control– Try ordering a to-go box with your meal.  This allows you to divvy up your portions into two meals, which can actually prove to be a money saving tactic.  Ordering appetizers as meals can also offer the illusion of a meal but with only half the calories.  Just make sure you are choosing the healthy stuff.

Drinks have calories too- If you drink more while on vacation remember to account for those calories as well.  Remember frou frou drinks have more calories due to the syrupy lacquers that are added.  Ask for the lighter versions if possible, ie. low-fat creamer for your mudslide.

The things to overindulge in

Okay, now that you know how to play by the rules, it’s time to indulge!  If the place that you are vacationing has a favorite dish, like deep-dish pizza if you are in Chicago, for instance, then by all means try it.  Remember it’s what you eat, and how much of it you eat too.  By limiting these indulgences to once a day, you are doing your body good but not depriving it of the fun stuff either.

So even though vacation is a time to relax and let go, sound decisions will allow you to indulge a little bit, without blowing your diet.

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