NUTRITION TIP – Staying on track while on vacation

Going on vacation does not mean that you have a license to place your diet and fitness on vacation as well. Doing so will only delay the inevitable if not ruin your trip.

Consider that you have been focused on your diet and have not consumed empty carbs for months. On day one of your vacation, you are presented the bread basket and consider this a great opportunity to bend your rules. Three rolls later you are full and bloated, a feeling that you will now carry with you to the pool, the show, your walk to an exhibit or attraction – everywhere. This simple deviation can negatively affect your whole trip.

Deviating too far from your diet can also cause you guilt once you return from vacation creating a negative spin on the entire vacation.

So here are some things I recommended for people going on vacation, where I believe success is a mental battle.

1)      Remember that just because you are on vacation you’re eating habits do not need to change – they are not on vacation

2)      No matter where you go, be sure to carry healthy and nutritious snacks. Snacking will assure you are not desperate when you sit down for a main meal causing you to order and eat big.

3)      Every restaurant, at home and away, will accept modifications to the meal. So do not be afraid to ask for items on the side or ask for a substitute.

4)      If you are looking for portion control here are some tips:

a)      Ask for the meal to be split in the kitchen – one half to a plate                   and the other half to a to-go box

b)      If you are dinning with someone, split the main meal and order                 an additional vegetable side. Sometimes there is an up-charge               for this but it also means they add to the side so that the plate                 looks full.

c)      Ask if they have smaller or half portions of the meal

5)      Drink plenty of water. Many times hydration is overlooked and creates issues later on.

6)      Make educated choices as to where you eat. Eating at a restaurant with healthy alternatives is usually only marginally more expensive than, thought to be less expensive fast food stores.

7)      If you are drinking alcohol, remember, this is where calories can really add up. Start with a soda water, drink slowly (sip) and don’t drink for entertainment – only order when there is existing entertainment around. Here are some other tips:

a)      Alternate a glass of water between every drink

b)      Choose a light beer over a regular beer (64 calories)

c)      Wine is a great choice that will force you to slow down and sip                 (125-150 calories)

d)       Skinny Girl Cocktails are becoming readily available, ask for                    them by name (as low as 35 calories)

e)       Ask for substitutions to the high sugar juices – water, tonic,                    light lemonade

f)        Add more ice to your cold beverage.

8)      Refuse the bread basket

9)      Assure your spouse, partner and/or family understand your position before you arrive at the dinner table so that they do not undermine your efforts or create a scene when you return the bread basket.

10)   If you opt for dessert, split it with the table. Take a bite, savor the taste and eat slowly.

Since you are on vacation and may not be exercising at your regular level, take the opportunity to walk the scenic route back to your hotel, room or camp site. While you are at it, see if walking to your destination the following day is an alternative to taking a cab or driving. This added fitness will be a reward when you get home.

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