Eat Healthy On Vacation with 4 Easy Tips

Sticking to a healthy diet when traveling is difficult, but there are ways you can eat healthy on vacation. For anyone trying to lose weight or maintain healthy eating habits, a vacation often puts a pause on those intentions. Outside of the comfort and control of routine, making healthy eating choices can be difficult. Whether it’s unhealthy restaurant food, the inability to cook your own meal, or the temptation to indulge, vacations often mean weight gain. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself and splurging, there are ways to balance your food intake — even on vacation. Try these 4 easy tips to eat healthy on vacation so you feel great and keep on track with your goals.

How to Eat Healthy While Eating Out

Eat Healthy On Vacation With 4 Easy Tips

You can eat healthy on vacation, whether you’re staying at a resort in the Bahamas for a weekend or at a hotel in Paris for a week. Vacation eating often means that you are surrounded by unhealthy choices, and it can be easy to consume excess calories. If you want to enjoy yourself but don’t want to feel lethargic and uncomfortable during your trip, allow yourself to splurge on ONE meal per day, not every meal per day. By doing this, you can still eat healthy on vacation AND treat yourself.

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Skip the cheese and meat omelet and try choosing healthy options for breakfast like egg whites, whole grain toast, and fruit. For lunch, order lean protein and veggies or a filling salad with dressing on the side. That way when it’s time for dinner, you can splurge on those yummy French fries, that juicy burger, or that local dessert. You don’t have to count calories all day; just don’t use every single meal as an excuse to overeat.

Go Grocery Shopping

Eat Healthy On Vacation With 4 Easy Tips

It may seem weird to go grocery shopping when you’re on vacation, but stocking up on healthy foods that you cannot easily get on the go (like protein bars, fruit, and egg whites) puts you on track for how to eat healthy while traveling. It gives you more control when you get hungry but doesn’t feel like eating unhealthy fast food. Oftentimes, when traveling it’s fun to find a local Farmer’s Market where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, and sometimes homemade local crafts for souvenirs.

If you’re staying somewhere for a week and have access to a kitchen, eating a homemade healthy breakfast on your vacation is a great way to set yourself up for success. Grocery shopping also allows you to pack lunches like sandwiches instead of opting for restaurant-fair, which is often loaded with fattening sauces and processed meats.

Hydrate Wisely

Drinking water throughout the day will keep you feeling full and energized, and it will also help aid digestion. Start every morning with a big glass of water, and keep water handy throughout the day. Hot climates and excess activity on vacation will have you reaching for something to quench your thirst, and water is the best option. Steer clear of sugary sodas and juices so you can eat healthy on vacation.

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When you feel like drinking alcohol, choose wisely! Drinks in big plastic cups like strawberry daiquiris can have more than 1,000 calories and are loaded with sugar (and usually very little alcohol!) Instead, opt for cocktails with fewer mixers like vodka-tonics, and enjoy wine instead of beer.

Make it Worth it

While it may be hard to eat healthy on vacation, it’s not impossible. Eating healthy on vacation doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy yourself. Ultimately, splurging on food is a question of worth. Is a Mcdonald’s burger at the airport “worth” a splurge? Probably not. Is that stale, processed hotel cookie “worth” a splurge? Likely, no. But, is that infamous strawberry shortcake with locally grown strawberries worth it? Yes! Is that Italian pizza you can only eat in Italy worth it? Yes!

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The point is, to choose a food’s “worth” wisely. Don’t waste fat and sugar intake on food just because it’s there. Enjoying a vacation is not an excuse to eat whatever you want; it’s an opportunity to enjoy special, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that include food. When you eat healthy on vacation, and stay on track with your health goals you will enjoy the trip even more because you will not likely experience stomach issues or worse.

How to eat healthy while on vacation at a hotel?

Choose a hotel with a kitchenette, which allows you to prepare your own healthy meals. And, pack healthy snacks for the day like apples, nuts, and granola bars to curb your appetite if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.

How do I eat healthily when traveling for work?

Eating healthy while traveling for work can be a challenge because the expense account makes it feel like a splurge. But your health comes first, plan ahead and figure out what restaurants are available in the area you’re visiting and research nutrition information for the menu items. This will help you figure out which items are healthier and make it easier to make a decision when you get to the restaurant with a client. Be sure to exercise while traveling for work to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Use the hotel gym or go for a walk/run to explore the community you are working in.

What should I eat on vacation to lose weight?

A vacation can be a great time to relax and unwind, but it can also be a time to focus on health and wellness. While you don’t need to eat like a rabbit while on vacation, you can still eat healthy on vacation. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating a wholesome breakfast is one of the best ways to kickstart a healthy day. Aim for foods high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, Greek yogurt, nuts, and fruit.

Pack nutritious snacks like fruit, trail mix, or granola bars. When you’re out and about exploring a new destination, it can be difficult to find healthy snacks on the go. When eating out, choose lean proteins such as grilled chicken or fish, and go for sides of vegetables or a salad instead of starchy sides like fries or potatoes.

And, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is essential, especially when you’re out in the sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body energized and your metabolism running.

What is the best healthy food while traveling?

Make the same healthy choices when traveling that you make at home. Fill half your plate with vegetables. Ask for substitutions when eating out, look for healthier alternatives such as substituting a side of fries for a side salad or ordering grilled chicken instead of fried.

When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to give in to the temptation of overindulging in unhealthy food. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your healthy eating habits. If you follow these 4 simple tips, you’ll be happy you did! There is no better feeling than coming home from a vacation and feeling that you savored every moment — but still managed to take care of your body. You CAN eat healthy on vacation!

Sources: CDC,

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Eat Healthy On Vacation With 4 Easy Tips



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Aaren is a mom of three fur-babies and a lifetime partner of a wonderful man. She is passionate about fitness, healthy living, writing, and not always doing what's expected. Aaren spends her days enjoying the Florida sunshine and water, fishing, working out and spending time with friends and family. She hopes to travel more in the years to come and share everything she learns along the way.