If you’re like many people, you worry you’ll be too tempted to overindulge on the tasty foods at your vacation destination. You may fear that your diet and healthy eating habits will go out the window. While that’s always possible, if you make smart decisions and find ways to eat good meals and exercise when you can, you can enjoy your trip without any regrets. Here are some ways to follow your nutrition and fitness goals during a vacation.
Find The Healthy Meals
Some people go on vacation without any health goals. They want to let loose, go out every night, and taste all that their destination offers. You don’t need to be jealous of those folks. You can still go out and see the culture and taste the local foods; you just need to be smart along the way.
Before you go on vacation, research your destination and look at some of the restaurants that look appetizing. Then, review the menu and find healthy dishes that contain your desired calorie count. It’s a good way to indulge in local cuisine without being thrown off-guard when you enter a restaurant or feeling rushed when it comes time to order and get something you’ll regret.
If you’re vacationing with a group, gather and research to find a local meal you all may like and then order and split it. That way, you can still enjoy the delicacies without overindulging. Another option is to book a hotel or a house with a kitchen so you can go to a store for ingredients and cook the meals you want. You can do that for some meals and then go out for others.
Finally, be sure not to go overboard when it comes to beverages during your meals. Many of those drinks are rich in sugar and high in calories, and they can sabotage your diet before you even get to the food. Be especially aware of the fruit juice at breakfast because, though it may seem healthy, many fruit juices are full of preservatives and sugar.
When In Doubt, Go Plant-Based
During your trip, satisfy your appetite and enjoy local favorites by focusing on a plant-based diet. Plant-based foods carry many benefits. In addition to cutting out unhealthy elements, like trans fats, a plant-based diet of lighter foods can leave you with more energy so you can see the sights without getting overly tired. Eating a regular plant-based diet can also reduce inflammation in the body and help you to stay at a healthy weight, which is the key to feeling great and fighting off forms of cancer.
There’s also the eco-friendliness of a clean diet. A plant-based diet is good for you and the environment and is a crucial stepping stone for a sustainable future. Many processes in the animal agriculture sector produce a great deal of greenhouse gas emissions that can hurt the planet and impact biodiversity. A plant-based diet avoids that issue.
A lot of land and water resources are also required to sustain livestock, which can strain the environment. By cutting animals out of your diet, you can help to cut some of that water usage. By keeping the world beautiful, you’ll have more to see during your vacations.
If your goal is to find plant-based restaurants during your trip, then research before you go and find where those locations are and see what options they have. You can use vegan travel blogs or join a vegan community on social media. When you find a place of interest, read the reviews and see if it’s up your alley. Many destinations also have vegan specialties that are unique to that region. Try them out and mark them off of your bucket list. Finally, look for hotels that offer vegan options at breakfast.
Find Ways To Exercise
It’s perfectly natural to get off a plane or a bus after a long trip and want to plop down on the bed, and while there’s time for that, you can find ways to stick to your fitness goals. If you’re jetlagged, you can get out of that funk and stay fit by injecting some energy via a few quick exercises. Burpees are great because they get the blood flowing and help you to wake up. Yoga can also help. Try the camel pose to relieve lower back pain and the cow face pose to open up your chest and shoulders after being cramped on the plane.
While you’re on your trip, instead of taking taxis and buses, opt to walk to local tourist stops or spend some free time riding a bike to keep the blood pumping. You can keep up your walking and enjoy the beauty of your vacation destination by checking out hiking trails in the area. Be careful when choosing a hiking trail, and do your research. Find one within your experience level and consider the time of year. Trails can be slippery and muddy during spring and icy during winter, so know what to expect and go prepared.
If you’re going to be hiking somewhere without a cell signal, bring a map and compass. Tell someone where you’ll be going and when you’ll be back. Also, pack extra clothes, food, and water so you’re prepared if you do lose your way.
There are also other ways you can exercise on vacation without a gym, including doing laps in the swimming pool or ocean, trying stand-up paddle boarding, or doing sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks wherever you are.
It’s entirely possible to enjoy every minute of your vacation while eating right and exercising throughout. Plan your trip ahead of time and find ways to live your best life and feel great during your trip.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.