Eating Well on Vacation

By Milette Siler, registered dietitian

Vacation is a time to relax, rest, and see and experience new things, including new foods. This is something to be celebrated; but, if you are trying to maintain your good nutrition goals or lose weight, it can be anxiety-inducing. Here are a few tips from our dietitian Milette Siler to help you navigate a healthy eating plan while still enjoying yourself on vacation.

1. Look for the fruits and veggies. Make it a challenge to add a fruit or vegetable to every restaurant meal, which will help fill you up and give you an extra nutrition boost. Order that decadent burger at the trendy cafe? Consider getting a fruit cup instead of fries. Planning to indulge with queso and chips as an appetizer? Maybe get a leafy green salad as your entrée.

2. Find ways to not eat out every meal. Pack high-fiber, low-calorie snacks that require little to no preparation (such as low-sugar oatmeal packets or energy bars) that will help save both calories and money on your trip. Make a stop at a local market or grocery store and purchase fresh fruit, nuts, and other healthy items you can keep stocked in your hotel room for quick and inexpensive alternatives to eating out.

3. Embrace mindfulness. Remember, you ARE on vacation. Sometimes you just need to let yourself indulge! Instead of denying yourself food experiences by making them a forbidden treat, give yourself permission to explore new cuisines in a mindful way. Sit down and really focus on smelling, tasting, and enjoying each bite, and stop eating when you are about 80% full, rather than uncomfortably stuffed. Many studies show that we are satisfied earlier and eat less when use these strategies.