How to Find a Healthy Balance While On Vacation
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Vacation: A time where we try get away from all our troubles back at home and for some reason think that the habit of slacking off on our workout routine and calories we eat on vacation won't follow us back home.
Trust me, we are ALL guilty of this in one way or another while on vacation. Always eating at the best restaurants, drinking one too many sugary drinks, and saying "I'll workout in the morning," knowing damn well you won't be getting to bed until late, and you are going to sleep in until you can find the energy to make it down to the pool or beach. I know this, because I used to do this.
Obviously, we need to find the perfect balance in each of our lives. We are all built different, so our needs are different. And of course, it's okay to go out and splurge on vacation, TREAT YOURSELF. But no matter what, we always need to be aware of how we are treating our body.
I always found that eating healthy a majority of the time made moments when I was eating a sweet treat even more special. It was like a little reward for myself and all the hard work I've done up until this point. It is also a reminder that I need to keep on my discipline and keep eating healthy and working out just the same.
In this article, I am going to supply some tips on how to enjoy your vacation while being able to come home not feeling guilty.
IF YOU ARE AT THE AIRPORT:
Oh, the airport. Every 5 feet you are hit with a super savory fast food place, bars with expensive drinks, and general stores that sell more candy than Willy Wonka. How do we combat the urge to eat and drink bad waiting for our flight when all we see is bad stuff? Easy. DRINK WATER. We can easily get bored at the airport when we are there waiting HOURS to board, especially if delayed. Sometimes, we tend to associate boredom with hunger, so we grab something quick to alleviate how we feel, but water will do just that for you! AND IT IS ZERO CALORIES AND IT IS GOOD TO STAY HYDRATED AT ALL TIMES. (Especially on the plane when the air is SO dry.) If you drink your water and notice you are still hungry, no need to worry. At the general stores, they do sell cups of fruit, yogurt parfaits, pretzels with hummus, trail mix and protein bars. All these are good in moderation. You don't need to be stocking up on a million snacks like you think. You either end up wasting food, or eating more than you wanted because you didn't want it to go to waste.
If you are stressing before you get on the flight, get yourself a hot tea from the local coffee stop, or if you need your coffee fix, just get a black coffee. They both help with your digestive system.
IF YOU ARE AT THE HOTEL:
Okay, so after your flight, you are checking in to your hotel and you see the bar and are DYING for an alcoholic drink. Okay, that's fine. It is good to celebrate the start to an awesome trip (as long as you are of legal age may I add.).
Here are a few options to choose from:
1) Vodka Selzer with Lemon or Lime
"There's a common misconception that tonic water is the same as seltzer water, but it actually contains a lot of calories and sugar. I opt for seltzer instead, which is just water with bubbles. A squeeze of either lemon or lime gives the drink a healthy (and sugar-free) boost of flavor!"
2) Moscow Mule with a Twist:
"Moscow mule with ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, and lots of ice, skipping the simple syrup. It's so refreshing, and when you don't use simple syrup it's only around 80 calories."
3) A glass of pinot noir or champagne
"I like a glass of red wine, preferably a pinot noir as it has a high concentration of antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol. And of course I appreciate the occasional glass of French champagne because life's too short not to."
4) Kombucha with Vodka (Or just Tito's Vodka)
These are low calorie drinks that will have you and your body feeling good!
I know we like to catch up on sleep during vacation, but you should always remember to EAT BREAKFAST. Eating a bigger breakfast in the morning will allow you all day to burn off those calories and not need to eat as much during the day. Here are a few suggestions for what healthy foods you can eat while on vacation. Also, if you are in a rush in the morning from sleeping in and having activities planned for the day, these are easy grab and go foods that you can eat quickly and still be full and satisfied.
1) Whole Grains: Whole grain rolls or bagels, Whole-grain cereals or Bran muffins. Top off your bread with some low fat butter or have your cereal with almond milk instead of regular milk.
2) Lean Protein: Eggs (any way you like), lean meat (turkey sausage is AMAZING!) or peanut butter with fruit on a rice patty. (You can add dark chocolate chips for that extra bit of sweetness)
3) Low Fat Dairy: Yogurt! Yogurt/ Yogurt Parfaits are easy to eat on the go and are very filling. If you have dietary restrictions, there are plenty of non-dairy alternatives.
4) Fruit: Almost every hotel will have fruit cups or fruit bowls, depending on hungry you are and it is a fresh and easy way to fill you up in the morning.
Look, I would love to sit here and say the best way to eat healthy on vacation is to go to the local food market and buy food to freshly meal plan, but let's be real, unless you are in a rental house or really restricted on your diet, you're most likely going to eat out. Now, vacation is a perfect time to try new foods, and you definitely should, but try to avoid overindulging. If you're out at a restaurant and have no idea what to get, because you want to eat good but you want to eat good (you know what I mean by this) Here are a few items to look out for on a menu.
1) A Big Salad (No Preference): Big salads are surprisingly filling—and best of all, you can use locally sourced ingredients and enjoy the best of what's in season. They are especially light, refreshing and perfect after a long day at the beach.
2) Soup and Sandwich Combo:
This dynamic duo allows you to portion yourself, yet still fill you up AND the possibilities of combinations are ENDLESS.
3) Broiled Fish: I personally love myself a good salmon or flounder dish, but everyone is different! I personally don't eat red meat a lot, so this is usually my "big meal" on vacations.Broiling is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy fish!
4) Quinoa Bowls: Quinoa is not only super healthy, it's super delicious too. Quinoa Bowls are easy and there are so many different types of quinoa bowls out there!
5) Grilled Chicken with Vegetables: Simple, but effective. You'll most likely never complain about how this is prepared and it is a very fulfilling meal without leaving you feeling gross.
6)Pasta: Yes, I said it. PASTA. I am a huge pasta girl, and while pasta is high in carbs this is a good meal to treat yourself too, and you could always get Whole Grain pasta too if you want!
Of course I am going to tell you DRINK TONS OF WATER ON VACATION. We tend to lose track of time and forgot to drink water, but we need water to keep energy throughout the day. You should still try to drink 64oz a day, or half your body weight in ounces. But of course, my legal drinking age friends want to have some drinks during the day! Like I have said before, enjoy that beer, enjoy that fruity drink, but it's when you start drinking 4-5 of them is when you start having problems.... (in more ways than one) Here are a few low calorie alcoholic drinks you can try!
1) Tequila with Fresh Lime Juice
Calorie count: Less than 200
2) Vodka Selzer with Lemon
Calorie Count: 96
3) Mojito (Minus the Syrup)
Calorie Count: Less than 100
4) Light Bloody Mary:
Calorie Count: Less than 100
5) Light Beer: (Most Beers have Light alternatives, just ask!)
Calories Count: 140 or less
Calorie Count: 120
Calorie Count: 90-96
8) White Wine:
Calorie Count: 120
9) Red Wine:
Calorie Count: 125
10) Martini: (Vermouth: drink it straight with olive)
Calorie Count: 128
Most hotels will have a gym (usually open 24 hours) that you will have access too. Take advantage of that amenity! Wake up early, meditate outside for 15 minutes in the sun, stretch, then go on the treadmill for 10-20 minutes, depending on if you are walking and running. Do three sets of 10 of core. Core exercises you can do are these but not limited too: crunches, push ups, planks, v ups, toe touches, leg lifts, squats, lunges, etc. Most gyms will have some weights too. You don't have to go crazy on weights, especially if your body goals include looking tone. Take 5 lb or 10lb weights and do three sets of 10 bicep curls and shoulder presses. This workout should take no longer than an hour and will leave you sweaty and satisfied.
Some hotels, usually resorts, have group classes. If you have free time, you might want to try one out. You'll meet new people and it may spark interest to you as another workout alternative for you when you get home.
If you are in a place that is experiencing beautiful, explore the city by running outside. Tell who you are with where you are going, but hydrate then go on a nice jog. Take in the environment and look for new places you could check out while you are there. Be your own tour guide while getting in shape.
If you are on vacation that has a beach or a pool, you can spend all day there and STILL get a workout, Do some crunches on your beach towel, and swim a little in the ocean or do a few laps in the pool. Water workouts may not feel like a lot, but over time, and especially once you get out, your body will definitely be feeling it!
I hope this article has helped you out for the next time you go on vacation and like I constantly have stressed throughout this whole article REMEMBER TO ENJOY YOURSELF. Don't feel guilty about having a bad meal or two, just be conscious of what you are consuming and try to remember to get a 20-30 minute workout in a couple times.