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It is possible to eat healthy while travelling and still enjoy your vacation
Going on vacation is always something to look forward to, especially with all the memorable experiences you’ll gain from sightseeing and one-of-a-kind activities. Perhaps one of the most stand-out aspects of a trip is the food.
Whether you’re dining at a luxurious restaurant or sampling local delicacies from a street food vendor. I love experiencing new cultures and trying all of their amazing foods. If you’re wondering how to eat healthy while travelling, read on for five tips.
We all know that eating too much on your travels can, unfortunately, make you gain a little bit of weight. After a few days on vacation, it’s quite normal to see some weight gain. Insider explains how much of this can be attributed to water retention from eating more salt and carbs. However, if you haven’t returned to your usual weight in a few days after the trip, then you may have gained some mass.
I love this quote from Anthony Bourdain because food is delicious and it’s meant to be enjoyed. It brings people together and helps us to understand and embrace other cultures. Balance is key here, so don’t go overboard enjoying yourself too much.
To help you, here are a few ways you can continue to meet your healthy weight goals, even when going on trips. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed and it’s possible to have a great time without ruining your health, or your waistline.
Try these 5 healthy eating travel tips
1. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods are convenient and often delicious. They are also very accessible when you’re on vacation. However, in most cases, food loses its nutritional value in the process of being cooked, preserved, frozen, or packaged. While delicious, these treats are not very nutritious.
Food Guide Canada notes the unhealthy effects of consuming processed foods, including higher blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Consuming processed foods can also lead to weight gain. Many fast food places near tourist attractions use ingredients full of sodium or saturated fats to improve
the flavour of these fast and convenient snacks.
Whenever possible, try to steer clear of these types of food. When you’re on vacation, I suggest limiting yourself to just a few. After all, you’re not going to Paris without eating a croissant or two, or five.
A good rule of thumb is to choose places where you can see the ingredients being used. Subway is a great example of a fast-food restaurant where you can eat fairly healthy. Adding all the fresh vegetables to your sandwich provides much-needed nutrition. You can also opt for restaurants that are likely to use fresh produce, such as a Poké bowl restaurant.
2. Don’t focus on calorie counting
This may sound counterintuitive to losing weight, but restricting your diet heavily while on vacation can end up backfiring. Plus, you want to enjoy your vacation. Rather than counting calories, continue to eat freely. WeightWatchers notes that weight loss is most effective when nothing is off-limits. This is something I can get behind as I’ve always believed in eating whatever I want in moderation.
Of course, this does not mean you should only choose indulgent treats. Balance is key. For instance, you may have fried fast food for lunch and then choose a dinner with lots of fresh vegetables. It’s all about moderation, which we discuss in our blog post titled Diet As A Way Of Life.
The freedom that an unrestricted diet gives you allows you to eat whatever you want. Still, practicing moderation will keep you healthy and help you to continue losing weight — even without calorie counting. I never count calories, but I definitely eat sweet treats in moderation. I truly believe in eating a healthy and balanced diet. Get the cake, but don’t forget to eat your carrots first 😉
3. Walk as much as possible
Travelling doesn’t have to mean derailing your weight loss plans. There are several ways to work out while you’re travelling to help combat vacation weight gain. Many of the travel tips in this post will have you burning calories without you even knowing it.
Small changes can have big impacts, especially if you’re moving more by walking instead of driving. One of the best ways to explore a new city is on foot. You can stop whenever you want and don’t have to worry about finding, or paying, for parking.
I love renting a bicycle to explore a new city. It’s so much easier to find hidden spots when you’re on foot or biking. Plus, if you walk or bike instead of driving, you’ll be working off those culinary treats without even knowing it. That’s what I call a win-win.
Two more ways to eat healthy while travelling
4. Split your portions
Overeating is common on vacations, especially because eating can be a very social activity. To avoid gaining weight from eating too much, learn portion control. This also allows you to experience more foods without wrecking your diet.
When eating out, one way to portion is to ask the restaurant to pack half your order for takeout. You can also split orders with your travel companions. I love dining in restaurants and ordering several appetizers to split with everyone else. This way, you can try lots of different foods, but in smaller portions. Another way to eat healthy while travelling is to choose a smaller plate to keep yourself from overindulging.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not impossible while you are travelling. You can eat healthily while travelling. All it takes is a more conscious effort to choose the right foods and eat in moderation. You may even come back weighing less than when you left.
5. Eat your largest meal for lunch
It is commonplace in many European countries to have the largest meal of the day for lunch, followed by a smaller and lighter dinner. This allows you to burn off those excess calories long before turning in for the night. There is nothing worse than going to sleep on a full stomach.
When travelling, it makes a lot of sense to eat your biggest meal mid-day because you will burn off those calories during your afternoon sightseeing activities. All the walking you do while exploring a new city requires energy so enjoy a large pasta for lunch, then spend a few hours sightseeing and burning off those calories.
I had never thought to do this until my first visit to Barcelona. I have to admit that I could definitely get used to their afternoon siesta time post-lunch. It’s such a great idea! Paris is another city where I ate larger lunches and smaller dinners. Although I did sometimes have a late-night Nutella and Banana Crèpe. I told you, it’s all about balance.
I hope you found these healthy eating travel tips helpful. Be sure to pin this post to refresh your memory before your next vacation. Travel should be a time for fun and exploration, not counting calories or limiting yourself to one cheat meal. Happy travels!