Eating Healthy on Vacation

Vacation Restaurant
Today, people are slowly retraining themselves to eliminate poor eating habits on vacation and you can too. Eating healthy on vacation does not have to be painful. In fact, it is incredibly simple.

Mentally Prepare

Before you even leave for your holiday, mentally prepare yourself. Tell yourself that you are allowed to indulge on vacation once in awhile as long as you remain active and only once a day. Perform a bit of reconnaissance to find the restaurants and must-have food stops you cannot miss and plan your food splurges in advance. Also, tell yourself over and over that you will avoid the minibar, limit your alcohol intake and always order a side of vegetables when possible.


Airport Food
Airports and airplanes were once the easiest places to fall victim. For this reason, make sure to eat a filling and nutritious meal prior to your departure to ensure you will not be starving when you are in the airport. If the airline offers a vegetarian dish, it is often more waistline friendly than other meals. Try to bring your own meals and snacks, however be mindful of your destination when packing foods. Most restaurants in airports offer healthy snacks and alternatives. You can often have a piece of fruit in place of french fries. You simply have to ask. Also, a number of cafes and sandwich shops offer yogurts, fruit and vegetables. It is also a good idea to take the stairs and to carry your luggage rather than to roll it through the airports. If you cannot pack a meal, these activities will help save you a few extra calories for the inflight meal.

Choosing a Health-Friendly Hotel

Health Friendly Hotel
As you mentally prepare, choose a health-friendly hotel to help you in your quest. Be certain the hotel offers a gym or pool. Choose a hotel within walking distance to many sights or activities. Check with the hotel to see if they offer bike rental, if they are close to trails and public transportation and if the restaurant offers healthy alternatives such as baked chicken, fish or vegetarian options. Be certain they have a fridge to keep perishables so you can always eat a piece of fruit before leaving for a restaurant. Often times determining these pivotal aspects can be difficult. This is why it is very important to do your research before booking. While hotel websites can be misleading to drive in business, I have found that reviews from other travelers are extremely helpful. I most recently took a trip to Sin City, where eating healthy is nearly impossible, and found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for the Las Vegas hotels regarding their amenities, the restaurants in the nearby area, as well as things to do. This was extremely helpful and ensured that I would be able to maintain my healthy lifestyle regardless of where I traveled.

During Your Stay

Fat Kid in a Hotel
Be mindful of temptations at every turn. It is a good idea to keep a food journal on your vacation. It will force you to be realistic about what you have eaten and what you can still eat or drink for the day. Do not forget that fruit drinks, while somewhat healthy in small quantities, can easily escalate your caloric intake for the day. Go for a walk after dinner. This is also a romantic way to end your day if you are traveling with a partner and good exercise for the entire family. If you remain active throughout the trip, you will be able to enjoy yourself more and return happier with your decisions.

At the Restaurant

Healthy Restaurant Meal
It is inevitable that you will be eating out at restaurants; after all it is a vacation. Just make sure to find a restaurant that has a wide variety on their menu to increase the likelihood of finding something that is healthy without sacrificing flavor. From heavily battered entrees to endless bowls of rolls and fresh bread, many chefs create decadent menus with no abandon. If you consistently consume these meals during your vacation, your body will quickly begin to show the results. While indulging in your favorite foods every once in awhile is permissible, try to steer clear of fried foods and opt for smaller portions when possible. Lean proteins, undressed salads and heaping portions of fresh veggies are all great dietary options that you can find in most restaurants. You should also avoid greasy buffets and fast food if possible, as it can be challenging to find appropriate foods in these dining establishments.
Remaining healthy while on vacation does not have to be overly complicated or difficult. Make smart decisions, allow yourself a few indulgences and stay active. If you follow this guide, you may just return even more fit than when you left.

Eating Healthy on Vacation (with thanks to Cole Millen)

Dr. John Fernandes

B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D., LMCC, CCFP, FCPC Clinical Lecturer, University of Calgary I am a Physician with over a decade of experience in my own Private Clinic as well as a full admitting Physician to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Calgary. Married with two daughters that both want to be Physicians as well. Hobbies include skiing, golf, mountain biking and Karate.

One thought on “Eating Healthy on Vacation (with thanks to Cole Millen)

  • January 5, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    Eating Healthy food is good. But if it can be make a habit that is eat healthy food often than it is just fine rather than on vacation.


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