The first day of your vacation is around the corner and you can’t wait, but a little anxiety is creeping in … How will you stick to your New Year’s resolution of eating healthy while still enjoying yourself on vacation? Here are a few tips on how to stay on the right track.
We all know being active increases your metabolism, so be sure to factor in your level of activity when choosing between a salad and French fries. If you are off exploring the wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru, then you are likely to be doing a lot of hiking so go ahead! Satisfy your craving for salchipapas, a local staple and fast food dish. On the other hand, if you plan on staying in an all-inclusive resort and sitting under an umbrella all day, then be mindful of your food and drink choices. Skip the margarita on your low-activity days, and check out the hotel’s activity programs on the days you plan on enjoying a drink. The point is to align your food intake with your level of activity.
Part of planning ahead is researching healthy ideas by bringing healthy snacks with you. There are many nutritionally dense snack options out there like raw food bars. These are often naturally sweetened and make for a great alternative to granola bars. Another trendy alternative that is making its way out of the campgrounds is dehydrated foods. Not only is it loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but it is the perfect way to incorporate your daily servings of vegetables when on the go. What’s more, they can easily be packed in your bag making them the ideal travel companion. Just remember to increase your water intake to stay hydrated while enjoying your crunchy treats.
Then start getting into yoga and get your exercise on because one drink will set you back 650 calories. While there is nothing wrong with sipping a Piña Colada by the pool while basking in the sun and secretly planning your permanent move to the island … don’t let these fruity drinks fool you with their cutesy little cocktail umbrellas. Not only are they void of nutritional value, but they are sure to spike your insulin levels, which will make you hungrier and more likely to overeat later. According to Newsweek you are better off having a Daiquiri, which is around 220 calories instead of a Margarita and its whopping 850 calories. So keep these figures in mind before you order your second drink.
Vegetables and fruit are essential to our well-being, and going on a trip is not a ticket to set aside those healthy meals healthy. It’s been arduous work and we certainly didn’t manage to establish these habits without breaking a sweat. But we are on vacation and the idea is to sample a variety of foods and enjoy ourselves. Just remember that a plate sporting colorful veggies is your best bet as a side dish when eating out. A vegetable medley will indeed help you lower your calorie intake and give you plenty of fiber keeping you full for longer. And for dessert, an exotic fruit salad can go a long way in satisfying your sweet tooth.
If you decide to vacation closer to home, why not experience different cultures and cuisines in your own backyard? This St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to find a local pub and share a Guinness with friends and family. Take advantage of this time to sample authentic St. Patrick’s Day food with some corn beef and cabbage, or colcannon a traditional potatoes and kale dish. And to burn it all off in style, check out the St. Patrick Day’s parade in your area, and why not partake in some Irish dance? After the parade, warm up with a bowl of Brotch'n Roy, a traditional Irish soup of leek and oatmeal providing for a healthy alternative to fast food."
Being on vacation is about managing stress and enjoying yourself. It would be sad to ruin our holidays by stressing over the calories lurking in each food or drink we come across! Restricting our food intake and depriving ourselves of what we really crave can backfire and make us literally obsess over food. So just relax … If you are traveling to faraway destinations, then sightseeing alone will keep you active and that’s a good a start. Moreover, a 5-day vacation is unlikely to completely throw you off balance. As explained in this WebMD article,* “Weight gain during the holidays is a fat, ugly myth.”
So go ahead, take a break and enjoy yourself… without breaking your commitment to good health.
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