8 Ways to Maintain Your Diet on Vacation  

It doesn’t take much temptation to derail your diet while on a vacation.  

You may be in a good place and excited about the progress you’ve made, and then the next thing you know, the tacos and margaritas start calling your name.   

Eating out is one of the many joys of vacationing, so depriving yourself doesn’t have to be the answer. There are ways to cut back on calories in the name of balance. That way, you’re not losing too much of the ground you gained before your trip.  

Pack snacks 

Before you leave or after you arrive at your destination, head to a grocery store to buy room temperature, travel-friendly snacks. Nuts, freeze-dried fruit crisps, seasoned chickpeas and sugar-free protein bars are solid options. It’s easier to keep trucking past a hot dog stand when you have some healthy snacks in tow.   

Eat in once a day  

This may take a little work but consider meal prepping before your trip. A week’s worth of pre-made shredded chicken, quinoa and vegetable bowls can be kept in your hotel or Airbnb refrigerator.  

While snack-hunting at the grocery store you could also buy low-sugar instant oatmeal or low-sugar, whole-grain cereal for breakfast. These are great ways to knock out at least one fully healthy meal per day. 

Drink plenty of water 

Drinking lots of water is ideal in any setting, but studies show that some people tend to mistake thirst for hunger when they haven’t had enough water that day. You can avoid this – and dehydration – while out and about by keeping a fully filled reusable water container handy. Drinking between two and three liters a day is recommended.  

Find time to exercise 

Not every hotel has a gym, so if the surrounding environment supports it, try sneaking in morning jogs when you wake up. Even walking up and down staircases to get your heart rate up can help you counteract some of the calories you plan to pile up at the buffet later in the day.  

Get to stepping  

If you don’t have the means or time to lift weights, jog, or do yoga on your trip, walking more is an excellent fallback option. Most people burn between 250 and 500 calories by walking 10,000 steps or more per day. Say your desired destination is 10 minutes away by vehicle, you can pass on the Uber or Lyft ride and take the scenic route instead. Walking is a relatively easy way to stay active while vacationing.  

Share meals – especially dessert 

Sharing is caring! Whether you’re with a significant other, family members or a group of friends, sharing plates is a built-in form of balance. This way, you’re tasting delectable local dishes and sweets without going overboard. Split that New York cheesecake or Boston Cream Pie three ways and you can save hundreds of calories.   

Add fruit and veggies to every meal 

Pass on a side of fries in favor of some mixed greens when you’re out getting steak or lobster on your trip. Instead of a Danish or donut for breakfast in the morning, opt for the bowl of fresh fruit.   

Don’t drink your calories 

For many of us, drinking more than usual while on vacation is part of the fun. The bad news is those empty calories can add up faster than your bar tab.  

Before your trip, consider committing to a handful of “alcohol-free” days on the vacation calendar. Or try spacing your drinks out by alternating a couple of glasses of water in between each mixed drink.  

Another idea is opting for lower calorie options like light beer, white wine, or clear liquors like vodka or gin with sugar-free mixers, such as club soda or diet tonic water. Those super sweet cocktails may be tasty, but have more than a couple and you’ll not only wake up with a headache, you will have likely consumed an entire day’s worth of sugar. 

Photo credit: Getty Images

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