5 Ways to Stay on Track During Vacation

Posted On Jul 10, 2013 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

5 Ways to Stay on Track During Vacation

Ah, VA-CA-TION. The word alone brings smiles to people's faces as they think of fun and scenic destinations, days filled with leisurely activities, and more importantly, enjoying time that's free of work, worry, and the stresses of everyday life. Vacation means relaxing, but it doesn't have to mean taking a complete hiatus from healthy eating and exercise. Want to avoid the dreaded bathroom scale 'weigh-in' when you return to normal life? Or don't want to lose a step in your workout routine? Follow these five tips to find the balance between enjoying your vacation and not getting completely off track with your healthy lifestyle.

1. Pack healthy snacks: Nuts, apples, carrots, and energy bars keep well (Plus, they don't get smashed easily!) and need little or no refrigeration– making them the perfect option for long car rides, airplane travel, camping or hotel room snacks.

2. Portion control: Trying new foods and exploring different eateries are part of the traveling experience. You don't have to avoid indulging, but remember to stay mindful of portions by sharing meals with others, eating slowly and savoring each bite.

3. Adopt a new mindset: Is completely ignoring exercise and healthy eating worth it? Will deviating from your goals make it harder for you to get back into your healthy routine after vacation? Ask yourself if the momentary gratification you get from overindulging outweighs how great you'll feel if you enjoy in moderation. If the people you're traveling with make it hard to stay focused, make sure you share with them ahead of time what your goals are, why they're important to you, and how having support will help you.

4. Plan ahead and do your research: Look for restaurants with smaller portions or healthier options. Try not to skip meals, pack snacks and decide ahead of time which meal you're going to splurge on.

5. Focus on other activities: Focus on other aspects of vacation, including new activities and adventures, sight-seeing, and spending time with loved ones. Try to avoid visiting every restaurant or brewery in your destination location. Additionally, skip the hotel gym and seek out more active vacation activities, such as walking while site-seeing, hiking or biking.