Ways to Stay on Track with Diet while on Vacation

Two deckchairs in front of the Turquoise Sea

It’s Summer! This is a popular time of year for traveling and fun family vacations. When you take a trip, your healthy diet and exercise routine doesn’t have to go on vacation too. With a little preparation, you can easily stay on track and still have a fabulous time on your trip! Here are some tips to help you avoid packing on extra pounds the next time you travel.

Pack Your Own Snacks

Eating at least two healthy snacks daily helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and prevents overeating at your next meal. When traveling, get a small cooler for your car and pack a variety of healthy snacks packed with protein, fiber, and mono-and poly-unsaturated fats. Here is a list of great snack ideas:


Unsalted Nuts  Protein Shakes/Bars String Cheese
Hummus w/ fresh Veggies  Yogurt Cottage Cheese w/fruit
Peanut Butter w/apple  Beef/Turkey Jerky Hard Boiled Eggs


Eat in Once a Day

Try “eating in” for one meal a day. This can save both calories and money during your trip. Pack breakfast options in your luggage, like plain instant oatmeal, whole-grain breakfast cereal, protein bars (look for brands lower in sugar and saturated fat but high in protein and fiber). You can also find a local grocery store and stock up on fresh fruit, yogurts, eggs, nuts and cheese to have in your hotel room for breakfast and snacks.

Make Smart Choices When Dining Out

  1. Research restaurants in advance. Plan when and where you will eat out so you can have more control over the foods that will be available. Many restaurants now have their menu and nutrition content online. Pick out what you will be having before arriving to the restaurant.
  2. Keep portion control in check. Most entrees will be larger portions than what we need. Share an entree with someone or ask for a To-Go Box before you start eating.
  3. Request that the bread baskets, chips and dips are not brought to the table.
  4. Ask that all condiments, dressings and sauces be served on the side.
  5. Ask for substitutions, a side salad instead of fries.
  6. Ask how food is being prepared. Requests foods be prepared with minimal oils and butter.
  7. Load up on vegetables and lean protein options. Avoid starchy and deep fried foods.

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to drink your water! Aim for 2-3 liters daily depending on the weather and your activity level. Even slight dehydration can cause our brains to misinterpret thirst for hunger. This will cause an increase in appetite and cravings. Keep in mind that coffee, soda, juice, and alcohol does not act as a replacement for water. Be careful with these other beverages, as they can be quite high in calories.

Be cautious with alcoholic beverages, as they can be a diet disaster. Many of us tend to drink more while on vacation. If you decide to drink, cut back on cocktails and mixed drinks. The simpler the drink, the better. Sweet drinks pile on more calories and the sugar they contain will increase hunger. Instead, go for white wine, champagne, or clear liquors mixed with seltzer water.

Find Time for Exercise

Exercise helps boost your energy and endorphins and can actually make your vacation more enjoyable. It also helps to burn additional calories you’re eating and drinking. Here are some tips to help keep your fitness goals on track while out of town:


  1. If you are staying at a hotel, see if they have a gym. If they don’t, ask hotel staff if there is a local gym. Often times you can get a weekly guest pass for local gyms if they know you are not from the area.
  2. A gym isn’t necessary to get in a good workout. Instead, plan to run, hike, bike or swim!
  3. Try to walk as much as possible when it comes to sight-seeing.
  4. Do a quick HIIT workout in your room.
  5. Incorporate exercise into your day early and then check it off your list.


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