It’s vacation time! Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or adventuring in the mountains, vacations can be wonderful to reset our mindset. Vacations can also mean lots of temptations to eat unhealthily, especially when you are eating out for every meal. It’s okay to indulge once in a while but check out our tips to eat healthy on vacation (at least most of the time!)
If you’re going on a road trip…
- Pack healthy snacks for the car. When you’re driving for hours on end, hunger can set in at any time. Be prepared with healthy snacks instead of relying on rest stops along the way which often only provide fast food options.
- Reach for water. Dehydration can sometimes be masked as hunger pains. Stay hydrated on long trips by packing plenty of water. This will also curb the temptation to pick up a sugary sweetened beverage at a rest stop.
- Plan ahead by picking rest stops ahead of time that you know offer healthy options. If you map out your route ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to stop for fast food when hunger strikes.
- Make rest breaks active. Don’t forget to include physical activity on your vacation. When you do make a rest stop, take a quick 10-minute walk or pack a ball and play catch. Not only is it good for your heart, but the driver will also feel rejuvenated and more alert.
If you’re staying at a resort or hotel…
- Choose a restaurant ahead of time by looking at the menu first to make sure they have healthy options. You can even try to choose your meal before you go to avoid the temptation of ordering something less healthy.
- Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants. Although they sound fun, you’re more like likely to eat more food and more calories than you need.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for things to be cooked a certain way in order to make them healthier. Choose entrees that feature seafood, poultry or lean meat and avoid fatty meats and ask for it to be baked, broiled or grilled instead of fried. And be careful of sides – opt for a side salad or steamed veggies if possible.
- Limit alcohol to one to two drinks per day.
If you’re renting a house or having a “staycation…”
- Plan simple meals using our free recipes. If you’re renting a house, you may not have access to all the kitchen items that you’re used to. Try planning ahead with simple meals that require few ingredients and/or little prep work.
- Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies for snacks. Just like at home, it’s great to have healthy snacks on hand for when you get hungry. Whole fruit such as apples, peaches, cherries or grapes are easy on the go. You can also cut up carrots, celery and cucumbers and dip in hummus for an easy snack.
- Reach for water instead of sweetened beverages to keep calories low and to stay hydrated all day.
For more tips for staying healthy on vacation, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood.