Summer vacations are meant for relaxing, exploring, and eating great food. But lets face it; you can’t keep your six pack abs and drink your margarita big gulp too. Whether you’re exploring the city of Chicago, visiting Yellowstone, or kicking back on Miami Beach, these are the best ways to stick to a healthy lifestyle while enjoying a week of relaxation.
It’s all about the preparation
If you wing it, chances are you’re going to end up with a beach bag full of sugar-filled granola bars and less-than- healthy juice boxes. Find hot weather-resistant foods like carrots, celery, and hummus. Then, try fruits like strawberries and blueberries for dessert. Keep the healthy snacks flowing throughout the day so reaching for the churros and hotdogs will be less tempting. And no one wants to cook while on vacation, so instead of using bread for lunch roll up turkey and cheese with lettuce and add your favorite toppings that you usually add on a sandwich. Or, you can make a chopped salad with a low-calorie dressing.
Splurge on dinner
Be sure to do your research on restaurants before you head out. Review menus, make sure there are places that include healthy options and that also accommodate dietary restrictions. And because you’ve kept such a close eye on your healthy snacking throughout the day, make dinner your splurge meal. Treat yourself to fresh lobster with butter and a beer (or two). But skip the greasy appetizer—you’ll regret it when you have leftovers of your entrée left on the plate. Also, pass on the dessert menu and substitute those choices for a popsicle treat or smoothie at the nearest juice bar.
Be smart with alcohol
Steer clear of the cocktail menu! A giant strawberry daiquiri can use up and even surpass your daily calories— so remember to keep it simple. Unwinding with a light beer, a glass of red or white wine, or vodka soda is just as refreshing and will help keep you on track.
Keep the H20 flowing. It will likely be hot wherever you are and staying hydrated is always important. Replace the candy bars in the mini fridge with bottles of water and keep it on hand when you’re on the go.
Exercise is so easy on vacation
The most common excuse to not sticking to an exercise plan is time. But on vacation, you have unlimited amounts of it and there are plenty of interesting ways to fit in a workout. Whether you’re on an adventurous vacation hiking through the mountains or staying at the beach, the possibilities for physical activities are endless. Choose family excursions like heading on a bike tour, taking a walk along the beach, or going for a swim. And if none of those activities sound appealing, chances are good there’s a gym near or in your hotel.
Balance. Balance. Balance.
Remember, don’t deprive yourself of that slice of cheesecake or a churro on the pier if that’s what you're looking forward to. Those 300 calories can be balanced with a healthy salad for lunch and a green smoothie. And don’t forget to relax. Stress plays a major role in health-related issues including heart disease.
Don't forget, the world is your oyster. But you don’t have to eat them all, especially if they’re fried.