A Healthy Road Trip

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Eating Healthy On the Road
    August is a busy time for summer travel. And while people are often conscious of the impact that their vacation is having on their wallet – they don’t always think about the consequences it will have on their waist.

    The average weeklong cruise yields an eight pound weight gain, and while there are no similar statistics available one can assume that a landlover’s vacation yields similar results. But you don’t have to abandon your healthy habits while vacationing – in fact, eating healthy and fitting physical activity into your vacation may be easier than you think.
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    Pack a Snack

    It’s not always easy to find healthy, low-fat, low-calorie options at the pool and beach snack bars, and let’s be honest… all that candy and ice cream can be quite tempting! While many snack bars offer salads, grilled items and fruit bars – if you think you may cave to the less healthy cheeseburger and fries than just stay away. By packing a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, nuts and water you can avoid the overpriced snack bars and have a picnic on the beach.

    Eat Smart When You’re Eating Out
    Eating out does not have to mean eating poorly. When you’re out to dinner order smart: if you are at the beach, take advantage of the fresh seafood or choose grilled or baked chicken or fish. Opt for steamed vegetables over those cooked in butter and order your salad dressing on the side. By dipping your fork into your salad dressing and then into your salad you can drastically reduce the amount of calories you consume from that high-fat salad dressing. Restaurant portions have gotten bigger and bigger over the years and often your meal is actually two or even three servings! Avoid overeating by sharing meals or having at least half of your meal boxed up. Look at the appetizer menu – you can save calories and still feel satisfied by eating an appetizer and side salad for dinner.

    Eat In and Indulge In Your Family and Friends
    If you are renting a beach house or condo you can reduce the number of calories you consume by preparing healthy meals at home and eating in. Placing the mealtime emphasis on socializing with your family and friends rather than eating lets you make great memories that will last much longer than that fried fish or key lime pie. If you are staying in a hotel consider renting a room with an efficiency kitchen, this way you can stock up with healthy foods for breakfast and lunch.

    Of course it is possible to splurge without over doing it. Allow yourself to indulge a couple times while you’re on vacation– just try to plan ahead. If you know you’re going to splurge for dinner, be extra careful that day.

    Don’t Just Sit There – Get Up and Move
    There are endless ways to incorporate physical activity into your vacation without taking time away from your family and friends. The easiest and most affordable way to stay active while on vacation is to move your feet. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and carrying your bags instead of using a cart allow you to be more physically active without leaving your family to go work out. You don’t need to be in a fancy gym to do push ups, sit ups, triceps dips, lunges and squats, all of these can be done in your house or on the beach.

  • If you’re going to the beach, enjoy the scenery by taking a long walk. Or use the sand as a playing field and play volleyball, toss a football or just play an old fashioned game of tag. Instead of just laying by the pool, get in and tread water, swim laps or just jump around, the water provides resistance that increases the intensity of your pool activities. Instead of driving everywhere, consider renting bikes and riding around. Don’t just sit there, take a water sports lesson such as sea kayaking or wind surfing. Take in the sights; by walking around an aquarium, museum or shopping area you can stay active without even trying.
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    It is possible to enjoy your vacation without completely abandoning your healthy behaviors. By following the tips I’ve outlined above you can enjoy your vacation and still fit into your clothes when you get home.

    You may also enjoy the following blogs;

    Identifying Trans Fats

    Food Allergies: A Case of Mistaken Identity

    Lunchbox Nutrition
Published On: September 07, 2006