Traveling & Diet: Tips to Maintain Your Diet on Vacation
Vacations can be a tough time for dieters. You spend a lot of time eating out, and your regular exercise routine is left behind. There are ways to maintain a successful diet even on vacation, it just takes some planning.
Make Choices Before You Leave
Before you go on a trip, make choices about what you want out of it. Do you want to have a good time and throw your diet out the window? Travel should be about enjoying yourself to the fullest, and if this is what you want, go for it. Just make sure to set up a plan for what you'll do when you come back home. How are you going to get back into your exercise routine? How are you going to plan your meals to get back on track? These are important questions to answer, and you should think about them before you head out to have a good time. If, on the other hand, you want to stick with your diet while traveling, make a plan for that. How are you going to eat healthy while on the road? How will you exercise? Keep in mind, losing weight while traveling is very difficult (unless you're going for a long backpacking trip), but maintaining weight is definitely possible.
Know Your Foods
Before you set out, know your foods. Many dieters stick to a particular prescribed diet. They know very little about the actual nutritional and caloric values of different foods. Eating healthy and continuing your diet while on the road will require that you know enough about different foods to make healthy choices when you don't have recourse to a particular manual or cookbook. Learn some basic rules of thumb for what foods are good to eat, what can turn healthy foods into unhealthy ones (deep frying, condiments, etc.) and what appropriate servings of different foods actually are.
Controlling Portion Size at Restaurants
While you're traveling, you're likely to be eating out a lot of the time. If you're in Europe or many other parts of the world, this may not be as much of a problem, but if you're traveling within the U.S., remember that most restaurants serve portions far larger than what any one person should be eating. Consider splitting a meal with your traveling companions or ask for a doggy bag to take some of it home with you. Choose healthy options, and ask for dressings and sauces on the side. That way, you control the amount of these calorie-rich toppings that go on your food.
Enjoying Local Cuisine
Explore true local cuisine. Outside of the U.S., many countries and peoples eat naturally healthy foods. Select from local dishes and sample exotic fruits and vegetables. A new taste experience might give you fresh ideas for healthy foods to incorporate into your diet at home.
Ways to Sneak Exercise into a Trip
While you're on vacation, it might be hard to stick to a regular exercise routine. But you can still sneak some exercise into your day. If you're at the beach, spend some time actually swimming instead of just sunbathing. If location and weather permits, go on short hikes of the surrounding area. Finally, skip the bus tours and walk around instead. The best way to explore a new city is on foot. You'll see sights you would otherwise have missed, get a more intimate feel for the local culture, and get some extra exercise while you're at it! Staying on a diet while traveling can be tricky, but if you make informed decisions and work at it, you can enjoy your vacation without ruining your diet.