Tips for Avoiding Diet Busting Temptations on Vacation
This article was inspired and developed through a collaboration with Cole Millen.
Vacations, for most people, is their closest brush with high living, so it’s natural that your diet will suffer from a bloat of cholesterol raising, belt bursting high-calorie food. Hey, it’s summer, right? A brisk walk down the boardwalk will make everything okay.
Unfortunately, the exercise you get on vacation solves nothing. The inevitable pitfalls will jump up and bite you. You’ll face this while on vacation: The food at the airport and on the plane looks delicious. The food your hotel and area restaurants serve pushes the crave button. To counter that, let’s add one more: The food you eat at home. Let’s get that one out of the way fast. At home, you eat healthy all week long and maybe you allow some flexibility on one weekend day, but no more. You look great the first day of your vacation. Don’t return home after looking like the Hindenburg.
Eat healthy before you arrive at the airport and you may avoid food most of the trip to your destination. If you do get hungry on a layover, search only for healthy foods. If your strict habits at home are sound, this test won’t be the one you fail. Any time you have the opportunity in airports, take the stairs or walk down the sidewalk — any exercise you sneak in is important. Airports are big places and walking exercise should be a breeze. Consider bringing healthy snacks like trail mixes you can carry in your pocket and snack on that during the trip. Having these at your disposal will prevent you from splurging on the closest thing. Michael Lange OD, CNS a popular nutritional talk show host called “Ask the Dr” recommends taking a bag of goji berries and a good triglyceride form omega 3 fish oil when you travel. The omega 3 helps improve the absorption of the important vitamins and minerals in the Goji berries. The combination of these two super foods helps to curb your appetite and improve circulation.
Before you embark on your adventure, research the area you’re going to for healthy restaurants as well as hotels. Pre-planning means your eyes are wide open long before you arrive. This kind of proactive planning can save you inches from your waste line. A good sign that a restaurant has healthy selections is the presence of a large menu. A large menu means a varied menu. The presence of salad bars and fish entrees is definitely a plus. From the hotel perspective the more amenities that are offered the better. Make sure the hotels and restaurants you choose can allow you to maintain your healthy lifestyle while you’re away. Often times this research can be difficult due to the misleading information being pushed out by businesses to bring in customers. This is why I have switched to consumer reviews as my source of information. I recently took a trip east for a Rex Sox game and found a great site called Gogobot that offered reviews regarding the hotels as well as restaurants. I pulled up a list of reviews for Boston hotels and was able to read the reviews regarding the amenities and offerings as well as on all the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to plan out my trip and ensure that I could remain healthy along the way.
When you arrive at the hotel, the diet will get more challenging. Hotel food and restaurant food regularly duke it out for highest calorie/cholesterol awards. Ask for healthy alternatives to offerings like sugar-sprinkled French toast, eggs Benedict, lumberjack omelets and Belgian waffles. They pack a continental breakfast with fresh fruit. Go for that. Shop nearby food stores for stuff you can consume in the hotel like low fat yogurt and cereals. Carry along a small crock-pot to fix healthy meats and rice in the hotel room.
At the restaurant, look for healthy sides and stock up at the salad bar on darkly colored vegetables. Avoid high calorie condiments. If fruit is available, opt to eat an orange or an apple rather than cheesy breads. What’s great about restaurants are the choices they offer. With a little discipline, you can eat healthy at a restaurant. If you see little or no opportunity for healthy food choices, you’ve chosen the wrong restaurant. Bring vitamin supplements along so you’re not missing nutrition. A healthy diet will help you maintain a healthy outlook. That’s important when you’re on vacation.
This may seem overwhelming at first, but as you practice it you’ll find it becoming routine and easy. This will ensure that you will come back from your vacation feeling as great as the day that you left.
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