Everyone loves summer! The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and it’s the time of year when we all deserve a nice, long vacation! Whether you’re planning a trip to some far-away, exotic location or simply planning a “stay-cation” this year, vacation travel may make you a little uneasy and stressed about maintaining healthful eating and exercise habits. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating on-the-road can also sabotage your efforts. To help you have a healthy—yet relaxing—summer vacation, here are the health and wellness tips that made our Top 10:
- Think ahead. Do your homework. Use the internet to find healthy food options in the town(s) you plan to visit. Many restaurants have their menus available online for you to review in advance.
- Make smart food choices. Order half portions; share an entrée with your travel partner; and don’t be afraid to make special requests.
- Limit alcohol. You’ve pictured it for weeks: you on a tropical island with a mai tai in hand. But keep in mind, alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides extra calories and few or no nutrients. Limit your alcohol to 1–2 glasses per day
- Walk it off. Rest and relaxation are important parts of any vacation, but staying active is a great way to manage your weight and boost your energy level. Pack a pedometer and be sure to sight-see on foot whenever possible. Better yet, plan an “active vacation” like an outdoor adventure or a walking tour of your destination.
- Pay attention to hunger and satiety signals. Try to avoid the “I’m on vacation!” mind-set. Eat because you ae truly hungry, and stop eating at the first signs of satiety.
- Make water your best friend. Traveling can dehydrate you, especially if your plans require long plane rides or spending time in the sun or at the beach. If you can, be sure to stock your hotel room, backpack, or car with plenty of water.
- Order special meals. If available, make a special request of the airline before you travel to have a vegetarian or low-fat meal, which will likely have fewer calories and be your healthiest option.
- Get five a day. Make an effort to get your five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. High in fiber, good for your digestion, and packed with immune-supporting vitamins and minerals, they are a perfect way to make meals more nutritious and filling.
- Pack exercise clothes. A T-shirt, some yoga pants, and/or gym shorts won’t take up too much space. And at the very least, remember to pack a good pair of walking shoes.
- Enjoy the scenery. You’re on vacation, so try to focus your attention on the scenery around you instead of all the food. Enjoy learning about the new places you’re visiting, connecting with the locals, and spending quality time with your family or friends.
So, whether you’re staying or going, relaxing or adventuring, you’re all set for the perfect summer vacation.