Staying Healthy on Vacation

by · April 5, 2013

This is a guest post from Cole Millen Cole Millen is an avid traveler and self-described “foodie” who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences”Thanks for the travel tips Cole (or should we say the “Cole’s Notes”)

You worked so hard to get your body bathing suit ready for your vacation, now it is time to keep it that way. Following a few easy tips can ensure that you don’t pack on a few pounds on your trip and keep that body in as good of shape as you left home in.

In the Airport   

The airport is the first obstacle you will have to face, and it is a big one. Not only are you required to be there hours before your flight leaves, but there is also little to do other than eat. I am no stranger to the airport McDonald’s and CinnaBon, but there are ways to help stay away from them. The night before you leave, pack healthy snacks (nuts, raisins, granola bars) in your carry-on. On the day of your flight, give yourself enough time to eat a healthy meal before you arrive at the airport. If you are full, gooey pastries and fast food will have less appeal to you!

Barb Thomas (Rouxbe Nutritionist) says “Keeping your blood sugar steady by having nutrient-dense snacks at the ready is the key to keeping your energy up and avoiding junk food as you travel. Also, remember to stay hydrated. Airports and airplanes are notoriously dry, and dehydration can masquerade as hunger. If you are well hydrated, you will be less likely to reach for sugary, fast food snacks.”

At The Hotel   

On your way to the hotel, keep your eye out for a local produce mart or grocery store. Stop at the store when you get a chance and stock up on fruit and vegetables to put in the mini fridge. Fruit makes an excellent mid-day snack at the pool. Be as active as you can and swim as much as your body will allow. Also, walk whenever you have the opportunity. There is no reason to drive to the miniature golf course two blocks away! If your hotel offers a free continental breakfast, eat as much fruit as you want, but do it right. All you can eat breakfasts can be full of sugary, high fattening items. Half of your plate should consist of whole grains (whole grain toast, cereal, oatmeal), a quarter should be fruit, and the remaining quarter protein (eggs, turkey bacon). This will give you the appropriate nutrients and energy to start your day right.

Barb Thomas (Rouxbe Nutritionist) says” Your morning breakfast plate should consist of healthy protein such as eggs, beans, fish or lean meat, and blood sugar stabilizing complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, low sugar fruit with the peel on, or a whole grain like whole oats. And remember- there is nothing wrong with having vegetables for breakfast!”

Picking The Right Restaurant 

Everyone wants to indulge a bit when on vacation, and you are allowed to do so. The key is to make sure you are indulging, and not going on a binge. Going out to eat at a restaurant does not have to be a binge. Do a little research beforehand. Check what nearby restaurants have nutrition facts or light menus. Reading the reviews from other travelers of a restaurant can be extremely helpful in pointing out the things that we often miss. For example, if you were staying in a hotel in Las Vegas, reviews could help you to find a healthy restaurant in the midst of the buffet zone. Know where you are going before you leave so you do not stop at the first Buffalo Wild Wings that you see! Avoid buffets, and know that fish is almost always a safe bet as long as it is not fried.

At the restaurant, knowing your buzz-words can be crucial. Avoid anything fried, creamy, battered, or breaded. Try to stick with something broiled, grilled, roasted, or steamed. Be wary of anything fat free. Fat free products are often higher in sugar and calories to try to get the taste of full-fat products. Eat as many vegetables as you can to help you get full on healthy food.

Barb Thomas (Rouxbe Nutritionist) says: “It’s totally ok to be high-maintenance! When you are out for dinner, go ahead and make requests like dressing on the side or less sodium in the dish. And if you are gluten or grain free- always ask for more vegetables!

If you can take in these very simple and basic tips, I can guarantee that you will come home in just as good of shape as you left with!

So what’s your favorite travel snack?




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