Eating Well On Vacation Isn't A Piece Of Cake, But It's Possible
If you have gone anywhere in the last year - even your sweet aunt’s house in the mountains - you know how difficult it can be to eat well while you’re on vacation mindset. Surrounded by pastries, encouraged to visit every coffee shop you see, having abandoned any resemblance of the routine you once knew…vacations, while good for the soul, can really take a toll on your body if you’re not careful.
Many of us think of vacations as “cheat day” in overload. I’ve been there - looking at a vacation or a break as a means to eat every single sugar-coated treat in sight. But I’ve always come back feeling sluggish, a little cranky, and like I need to beat cheeks back to the gym. It’s the worst! Feeling relaxed after vacation only to feel the pressure of hitting the gym? Who wants that life? Not me, friend, not me.
With this in mind, I’ve learned to be aware of what my body needs, how I’m feeling, and what I don’t really need to feel like I’ve had a successful vacation.
1. Hydration nation
With vacation comes fun coffees, yummy cocktails, and a “sure why not” mentality when it comes to what beverage you’re accompanying your meal with. It’s too easy to always choose the “I never do this” option and slack on your water. But drinking your calories is an easy trap to fall into, one that you’ll hardly notice until you’re dehydrated and bloated. Opt for water instead of a sugary drink every meal - have a glass of wine at dinner WITH a glass of water. Have a normal coffee instead of a vanilla frappe mocha latte with caramel drizzle. Not only will you save some cash, but your body will thank you.
2. Get those steps in
Depending on what your vacation entails, this may or may not be an issue. If you’re traipsing through Barcelona, you may find yourself hitting your step goal by noon! If you’re enjoying Thanksgiving weekend on the couch with your family, your FitBit may grow concerned, thinking you’ve died.
If you fall into the latter scenario, make it a point to take a walk during the day. Take the dog to the park, ask a family member to join you, or just enjoy some alone time. Not only will the fresh air do you good, but a walk will remind your legs that they have a job to do.
3. Pace yourself
So much food, so little time. When you’re a foodie (guilty), it can be easy to go hard and fast when it comes to tasting EVERYTHING in your line of vision. But consuming everything not only shocks your metabolism, it is not nearly as enjoyable as it appears. You can still taste everything, but do so in moderation. Don’t be afraid to split meals or snacks out, cut a portion of that cinnamon roll at the family breakfast table, and take care of your body.
A tasting mindset also helps you learn what you like the most - taste everything, then go back and eat what you like the most again!
4. Prioritize your protein
Maybe you don’t have this problem, but I certainly do. When it comes to vacation, I want all the dessert and all the carbs…I like proteins, but do they come wrapped in frosting? No. I have found myself with a carb and sugar hangover too many times, feeling like a blob moving through the living room. Making it a habit to include protein throughout the day sets you up for success, taking care of your body and your mind. Whether it’s a nibble of leftover meat or a protein bar you keep in your purse, your wellbeing will feel the difference.
5. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat
Easy enough, yes? I know most Americans have the hardest time with this, as we are trained to eat when others around us are eating, or eat because something is available. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret…if someone is eating and offers you some food, you don’t HAVE to take it. If you’re not hungry, you don’t have to eat anything. Listening to your body is far more respectable than eating every time someone offers you a cookie.
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