And you thought that the hardest part of going on vacation was packing your bags, planning your itinerary, and finding someone to watch your pets. The truth is, if you’re working on living a healthy lifestyle, the moment you start your vacation is the moment your biggest challenge begins. Because such a large part of vacationing involves eating delicious and different foods, you can easily find yourself taking a few steps backward in your health routine. However, it’s not always necessary to forgo your diet and exercise completely, and you can still enjoy everything your vacation has to offer. Here are 4 tips to stay on track:
- Take your “five a day” with you
Vacations are the perfect time to keep up with your five servings of veggies each day. If you make produce your priority, overindulging on unhealthier foods won’t be as tough a temptation. Plus, all the fiber and water that’s found naturally in produce will help keep your whole body, especially your digestive system, running and functioning as it needs to.
- Take in the region the way the locals do
Do those living in your vacation destination hike and bike on the weekends? Do they walk to the food market every couple of days for fresh local produce? Or walk the beach for treasures? Consider splurging and enjoying the bike tour, canoe trip, or museum tour. Taking full advantage of the landscape and culture where you’re going can enable to you maintain your active lifestyle while getting more out of your vacation.
- Fast food doesn’t have to be. . . fast food
As you hit the highway for a road trip, think outside the box when it comes to lunch stops. If you find yourself in fast food central, do your best to track down a grocery store. Even the smallest town grocery store is bound to carry staples you can use to build your own healthy lunch including deli meat, cheese, fresh fruit, and some kind of veggie. Not only will this kind of meal not wreak havoc on your eating plan, but you’ll feel more energized for the long haul ahead.
- Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t overdo it
Hey . . . of COURSE you should partake in the local cheesecake specialty, homemade ice cream, and award-winning jalapeno poppers. But limit yourself to a treat a day. And beforehand, when you know you’re going to be in a situation where it’s going to be hard to practice self-control, there are a few ways you can prep yourself beforehand: make sure you’re hydrated with a LOT of water, eat a snack high in lean protein about an hour before your meal (think hard boiled eggs, string cheese, a few nuts or pumpkin seeds, or some turkey and avocado rolled up in a lettuce leaf), and order a side salad or plate of veggies just for you.
So use these four tips and get away, relax and enjoy yourself. Indulge a little but don’t forget how hard you’ve worked to get to this point in your health and fitness journey.