Control Vacation Eating With These 5 Tips


I’m a big believer that vacations should be enjoyable (even while trying to lose weight). Splurge on that necklace you like. Don’t check your email for a week. Sleep until noon. But I’m also a big believer that going on vacation is no reason to completely derail your healthy lifestyle. It’s totally possible to enjoy the decadence of vacation and stay on track when it comes to your food. Here are my tips for how to strike that balance:

Get yourself a kitchen.

If you have the option, try your darndest to get lodging with a kitchen. Not only will you save beaucoup bucks by cooking at least some of your meals in your room, but you’ll also have complete control over what you’re eating. Even if you can’t find a place with a full kitchen, a kitchenette or even just a small fridge can help drastically. Stash protein-packed Greek yogurt and berries in there and you’ve got breakfast on-the-go.

Pick one meal a day to really be decadent.

Go ahead, splurge. Get the wine and the dessert. Eat the cream sauce pasta you’ve read a million positive reviews about. But only do it once a day. If you are planning on a decadent dinner, eat light at breakfast and lunch. Want to go out for a heavy breakfast? Go for it! But find healthy alternatives for lunch and dinner.

Enjoy the local flavor.

Figure out what is fresh where you are vacationing and really throw yourself headfirst into enjoying it. Visiting Hawaii? Gorge yourself on fresh pineapple. Relaxing on a Caribbean island? Eat as much fresh-off-the-boat seafood you can find. Chances are, if it’s local and fresh, it’s going to be a better choice than the processed, not-so-local options. If you want to get the freshest fruits and veggies, grab some cash and head to the Farmers Market. If you did my first tip and have a kitchen, try making one dinner where you use only local ingredients. I think it’s fun to tour the area finding local specialty markets!

Make your voyage clean and healthy.

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of bored eating? My hand is sky-high right now. Bored eating is a huge issue for me, especially when I’m traveling. Whether it’s road-tripping or waiting in an airport lounge, I love passing time with food. If you know you have this trait, plan ahead and pack light snackable foods. Think large quantities of raw veggies like celery, carrots or cauliflower. You want to save your food splurging for once you are actually on vacation, not the trip to it.

Hyrdrate, hydrate, hyrdate.

If you do nothing else on this list, follow this one piece of advice: keep hydrated. Not only will it help you starve off any post-party hangovers, but it will also help flush out excess sodium and sugar from your overindulgences. If you are drinking regularly, a good rule of thumb is to drink a tall glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. Even if you aren’t drinking alcohol, keep the water flowing. Your body will thank you.

Where was your last vacation?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!