The beautiful weather, long summer days and exciting seasonal events mean it’s the perfect time for a vacation! Whether it be a weekend beach getaway or a week-long trip across the country, you don’t want to tarnish your weight loss progress with a string of bad diet decisions due to vacation temptations.
Most of us work hard to lose weight and look our best while away on vacation, only to be faced with several vacation temptations the minute we arrive. From ice cream and fries to big BBQs and high-calorie drinks, there’s never a shortage of bad diet decisions to be made. Once you’re on vacation, there’s no worse feeling than letting all your hard weight loss work slip away.
Learn how to avoid diet vacation temptations and eat healthier while away with these seven solutions:
1. Temptation: Loads of sugary cocktails
Solution: Use low-calorie mixers
Vacation time usually means party time with lots of sugary cocktails and heavy, high-calorie drinks available. If you want to engage in some fun, make your drinks with zero-calorie mixers such as lemon or lime juice. You can also opt for dry wines or light beer so you can still relax and live it up without weighing yourself down during vacation.
2. Temptation: Heavy meals and huge portions
Solution: Follow the 80/20 rule to balance meals
When you’re on vacation with big groups of family or friends, there’s often also an abundance of food available around the clock, both home-cooked and store-bought. With so many food options to choose from, you should stay on track with healthy eating by following the 80/20 rule. Allow yourself to indulge in foods you love (that may be unhealthy) for 20% of the time, while you eat healthy the other 80% of the time. It’s easier if you choose one meal a day to allow yourself to give in to temptation, as long as you watch what you’re eating the rest of the time.
3. Temptation: Picking at food all day
Solution: Fill up on fruit and veggies
Vacations usually mean syncing up appetites and eating when other people do but not necessarily when you want or need to. If you find that your vacation is an endless string of eating rather than sitting down for specific meals, make an effort to fill up your stomach with healthy choices. Avoid picking at food all day and make sure to eat salads, fruits and veggies to fill you up with dietary fiber.
4. Temptation: Eating out for every meal
Solution: Plan ahead and meal prep
Don’t give yourself an excuse to eat out for every meal during vacation and don’t leave food as an afterthought while planning. If you plan ahead to bring healthy snacks and food to prepare nutritional meals, you’ll have an easier time staying on track and stress-free! Plan some home-cooked meals with healthy ingredients that everyone can enjoy.
5. Temptation: Hitting the drive-thru
Solution: Choose sit-down restaurants
If you feel the need to stop for food while you’re on a road trip or traveling, make sure it’s a sit-down restaurant. Fast food drive-thrus are loaded with high-calorie food with low nutritional value that will only make you feel sick while you’re trying to have fun. Instead, your group should choose restaurants where you can sit, relax and order from a full menu with healthy options for high-protein and high-fiber meals. Sitting down and taking the time to eat slowly will also help you fill up to reduce your snacking urges later on.
6. Temptation: Fried foods and sweet treats
Solution: Go for roasted veggies or protein shakes
Summer vacation means lots of delicious and tasty treats available everywhere—and LOTS of vacation temptations. Whether you like to indulge in french fries, ice cream, churros or funnel cake, there’s probably a better alternative for your diet. To satisfy your savory cravings, choose a smarter option such as zucchini fries, kale chips, baked avocado fries or whole grain pita chips. If you want something sweet and refreshing on vacation, go for a high-protein smoothie or shake to fill you up and provide you a nutrient-dense frozen treat.
7. Temptation: Big BBQs and cookouts
Solution: Skip condiments, sides and seconds
Summer cookouts are inevitably filled with diet disasters at every turn. The best thing you can do to have a good time at a BBQ without tanking your weight loss progress is to be picky! Don’t eat everything available and skip most sides such as potato salad, fries, chips and other greasy goods. Opt for a turkey or veggie burger if they’re available, and replace ketchup with mustard and stick to tomato, lettuce and onions for healthy topping options. Make sure to stay social and active, so you can spend less time thinking about going for seconds!