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How to Eat Healthy On Vacation

Vacation Tips for Eating Well: Indulging Wisely Without Guilt

by Brooke Douglas RD

How to eat healthy on vacation is a challenge.  Vacations are a time to enjoy and indulge in experiences that you may not otherwise have, including food. However, this does not mean you should eat the highest-calorie, highest-fat foods at every meal. Here are a few tips you can use while traveling to make sure you indulge wisely, without going overboard.

Enjoy local foods and cuisine When inRome, eat like an Italian! Why go to a major fast food or coffee chain when you are traveling, part of the fun of traveling is eating at new and different eating establishments. If you are traveling to a location with special, local foods and cuisine, make sure to enjoy those foods while you are there. You may not have another chance!

Choose how many times to indulge, not which times Half the fun of indulging is stumbling across a great restaurant when traveling and enjoying a spontaneous, delicious meal. Unless you have a specific-destination restaurant planned, simply choose the number of meals you plan to have that are more lavish, and let local recommendations/fate serve as your guide. A great rule is the 80/20 rule—try eating well 80% of the time, so you can indulge without guilt the other 20%. Having a particular number of meals in mind will keep you focused on moderation. It also will give you a greater appreciation for those special meals you have chosen.

Do not turn hunger into an indulgence Be sure to make the meal you are choosing to indulge in, one that you are really looking forward to, not one that results from you walking into the nearest restaurant because you have not eaten in 6 hours. Always pack some easy-to-carry snacks for those long days of adventures, sightseeing, or beach-going. This will ensure that you can indulge when you want to, not when your body is screaming for food.

Do not worry if you go overboard one day Sometimes one ice cream cone becomes two, becomes a pastry, and then becomes an indulgent meal out for dinner. Vacationing is a departure from the normal routine of life—if you eat too many calories one day, just brush yourself off and move on! ONE over-the-top day does not make or break a healthy lifestyle. Don’t make the mistake of trying to compensate for the rest of the vacation and restrict your food choices. This usually does not work well, because you will feel deprived and are defeating the purpose of enjoying your vacation. Treat the next morning as a new day, with a new opportunity to make healthy choices. Remember Brooke’s favorite motto – Moderation Not Deprivation!

Indulge wisely – Keep these tips in mind when on vacation:

  • Enjoy local foods and cuisine—when inRome, eat like an Italian.
  • Choose how many times to indulge, not which times—the 80/20 rule.
  • Do not turn hunger into an indulgence—pack snacks.
  • Do not worry if you go overboard ONE day—treat the next morning as a new day, with a new opportunity to make healthy choices.

If you would like to schedule a nutrition consult, contact Brooke at Nutrition Authority or call 253-227-8284. Let a ‘Registered Dietitian’ help you clear up any nutrition confusion you may have. Brooke can personalize a ‘nutrition lifestyle plan’ to meet your specific needs. Most insurance is accepted.

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