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How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation

Everyone loves a fun vacation: it’s a time to relax, explore a new culture, reconnect with family and friends - and perhaps make new friends along the way! However, for those still trying to reach their weight loss goals, it can be difficult to balance having a great time and avoiding getting off track, which might sabotage their hard-earned successes thus far.

While you make other tough decisions about your vacation, such as whether to bring your pup along and what swimsuit to bring, it’s important to plan carefully to enjoy yourself without angering your scale. Here are some helpful tips for how to stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals without agonizing over calories the whole trip.

Pick a Place Known for a Healthy Diet

The research begins before you even book your tickets: the location you pick for your trip can make a huge difference in whether you can have an exciting but health-conscious vacation.

So-called “Blue Zones” are places known for their residents’ longevity, thanks in no small part to an excellent diet and plenty of exercise. Greece, Sardinia, Okinawa, and Costa Rica are just a few of the most well-known areas where the local cuisine and culture encourage a healthy weight and a long life. If you don’t want to leave the United States, the town of Loma Linda, California, is home to a community of Seventh-Day Adventists who follow a strict diet rich in whole foods.

You don’t have to move to one of these exotic locales to reap the health benefits: eating delicious food and walking to the local attractions will do wonders for your weight loss goals, as well as give you a good idea of what healthy foods you could incorporate into your meal plans at home.


Pack Meal Replacement Shakes

When you’re rushing through the airport or wandering down shop-lined streets, it’s tempting to grab some street food or pop into a local cafe and enjoy a calorie-dense treat, but this can harm your health in the long run. This is why it’s a great idea to put meal replacement shakes in your carry-on luggage to have a healthy snack on the go.

These drinks are a good source of many of the most essential nutrients in your diet, including dietary fiber to keep you fuller longer so you won’t be tempted by convenient but calorie-dense options. Better yet, they’re incredibly convenient: pour the powder into a blender bottle, add water, and shake away. This way, you won’t find yourself hangry when rushing through your itinerary, and you can save room for a delicious but healthy dinner.


Try Walking Rather Than Choosing a Bus Tour or Public Transit

Many of our favorite vacation destinations are very walkable: for example, Germany is renowned for having both good public transit and lovely, well-maintained streets. While bus tours are a great way to soak in the culture of a given area, they also leave you sedentary for a long period, especially if you choose a longer ride through large swathes of a country.

Instead, think smaller and more pedestrian by walking to your destinations whenever possible. This way, you can really get a feel for the environment: the bustling streets, the chatting locals, the sweet little shops with all sorts of fun trinkets. You might find a hidden gem that was never mentioned by tour guides, like a roadside shrine in Japan or a lovely fountain in Rome; you’ll also be able to get unique photos that truly capture the essence of your destination.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

Part of the reason that many of the Blue Zones mentioned above, such as Sardinia and Okinawa, is that they have a reputation for choosing only the finest ingredients in their meals instead of wowing you with a huge volume of food.

The average Japanese dinner includes numerous side dishes, but all of them are relatively small, and you can easily eat it all in one sitting without feeling stuffed; that’s because chefs are more interested in using small amounts of incredibly high-quality ingredients, like fresh seafood bought from the market just that morning.

When visiting a different country, commit to picking a nicer and more quality restaurant for one meal, supplementing with a meal replacement throughout the day instead. You’ll still be able to appreciate the local cuisine, but you’ll be able to be truly amazed by the rich culture and fine preparation rather than finding yourself sleepy because you overindulged.

Hitting your weight goals is difficult even in the most optimal circumstances, and the hectic pace of a vacation can make this even more challenging. However, by choosing healthy locales, using meal replacement options, walking as much as possible, and picking sumptuous meals over large quantities, you might even find yourself slimmer when you come home!