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How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

When you go on vacation, remember that you shouldn't derail your healthy eating habits. Entering your getaway with some ideas about how to eat healthy while still enjoying yourself (and indulging a little) will keep you on track. After all, nobody wants to return from vacation with an extra couple of pounds as a souvenir. Here's how to eat healthy while you're away without feeling restrained.

Have Healthy Snacks Readily Available

Make your vacation food indulgences count; don't waste calories on a bag of potato chips in the airport or a mid-afternoon cookie at a local coffee shop. Take healthy snacks with you (or purchase them when you arrive) and keep them nearby so that you won't give in to your mid-meal hunger with empty calories. By not vacationing from your healthy snacking habits, you'll give yourself the leeway to enjoy something a little extravagant for dinner or dessert.

Share Your Meals

Going on vacation means dining in restaurants frequently. It's part of the experience and the fun. The danger is that restaurants usually serve enormous portions laden with all kinds of fat and calories you wouldn't consume if you had cooked them at home. Rather than limit yourself to garden salads the entire time, plan to share your meals with someone with whom you're vacationing. You still might not be eating the healthiest by splitting a plate of cheese enchiladas, but it's definitely less detrimental to your diet to share than to eat the entire plate on your own.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

Paradise doesn't feel complete without a cold bottle of beer or a fruity blended cocktail, but consuming too many will significantly increase your daily calorie intake. A classic margarita, for example, contains several hundred calories. Your best option is to limit yourself to a cocktail every other day while you're on vacation. If you absolutely must have a drink every day, limit it to one and switch from cocktails to wine or light beer every other day. As you would when not on vacation, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to curb cravings.

Split Dessert

Just as you should share calorie-laden meals, split desserts between two or more people, too. It's one of the best ways to prevent yourself from over-indulging without feeling deprived.

Avoid Fast Food

Whether you drive or fly to your destination, it's hard to escape the presence of fast food restaurants. When you're in a hurry or have limited options available for meals (as is common during road trips), resorting to a value meal is all too convenient. Plan ahead when you're traveling. If driving across country, pack sandwiches and fruit in a cooler. If you're flying, you can almost always find a kiosk or store selling fruit, yogurt and packaged salads. It all gets back to making smart choices on the ordinary meals so you can take more liberties with dinner or dessert.

Remember, a vacation isn't an excuse to throw all of your healthy eating habits to the wind. Aim to still consume well-balanced meals and nutrient-rich foods while on vacation the majority of the time. By doing so, the indulgences you do consume won't be a big deal.

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