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How to Eat Healthy on Vacation (3 Strategies)

Updated: Feb 29

Eat healthy on vacation with a nutrition coach

Vacation is the perfect time to indulge in special cuisine and decadent desserts. However, with generous resort packages, it’s easy to go overboard on the treats. Fortunately, by eating mindfully, you can avoid excess calories and keep your nutrition plan on track.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to eat healthy on vacation. Let’s get started!

Set Food Boundaries to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Food boundaries are a series of clearly defined rules and standards to help guide your nutrition plan. Setting boundaries, such as stopping eating when you’re full and focusing on whole foods, makes you less likely to overindulge and deviate from your diet. In doing so, you can enjoy treats here and there while still eating healthy on vacation.

While it’s best to determine your own boundaries with food, here are a few generic examples to get started:

  • Eat 20 grams of protein at each meal

  • Drink 80 ounces of water each day

  • No eating after 8 p.m.

  • Up to two alcoholic beverages a day

Furthermore, If you know you’ll have trouble sticking to your boundaries, you can consult a nutrition coach to keep you on track. A nutrition coach will help you set clear boundaries with food and develop smart eating habits. Moreover, they will keep you motivated when you need an accountability partner.

Pack Healthy Snacks

Eating a snack or two throughout the day can help you stay satiated and feel energized between meals. However, finding healthier snacks while traveling can be challenging. When you pack nutrient-dense snacks, you can avoid processed foods and stick to your macro goals.  Plus, it’ll help you save money.

Easy snacks to travel with include:

  • Beef jerky

  • Raw nuts, such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts

  • Fresh produce (if you’re traveling via car or train)

  • Air-popped popcorn

As a rule, try to keep your snacks under 250 calories. That way, you won’t ruin your appetite for the next meal. If you have trouble sticking to portion sizes, you can measure and package individual servings for easy grab-and-go snacks that fit your macros.

Prioritize Protein

Studies show that increased protein consumption reduces appetite and boosts metabolism. Therefore, when you prioritize protein in your meals and snacks, you can stay fuller for longer, decrease cravings, and fuel your body for vacation adventures.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for protein is 0.8 of protein per kilogram of body weight. To find your RDI based on this metric, you can use the USDA’s RDI calculator.

Nonetheless, If you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, your RDI for protein should be much higher. In this case, our fitness coaches recommend eating one gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight (or .45 grams per pound). This means that if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be consuming at least 72 grams of protein each day. 

Incorporating lean proteins into every meal will ensure you reach your daily protein goals. Options can include:

  • Eggs

  • Yogurt

  • Cottage cheese

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Fish

  • Shrimp and other shellfish

If you don’t want to concern yourself with counting protein, you can use an app like Cronometer. Once you input the food you eat, the app will calculate the calories and macros for you:

Track macros with a fitness app like Cronometer

MyFitnessPal and 1st Phorm App are also great tools for tracking your nutrition. By using a fitness app, you can easily track your food and ensure you’re eating healthy on vacation. 

Limit Alcohol Consumption

While those fun and fruity cocktails may sound delicious, too much alcohol can seriously sabotage your nutrition plan. In addition to bloating, drinking can lead to late-night cravings and poor food choices.

Moreover, most alcoholic beverages are chock full of empty calories and added sugar. For instance, a standard margarita with blanco tequila, orange liqueur, and agave syrup has over 200 calories and around 20 grams of sugar. Beer, seltzer, and wine aren’t much better. A glass of red wine is around 125 calories and typical light beers and seltzers are around 100.

Since it can be difficult to abstain from alcohol completely, we recommend choosing drinks without the added sweetener. Instead of a seltzer, you can order a vodka and club soda with lemon, which will cost you 80 calories and no extra sugar:

Limit alcohol to keep your nutrition plan on track

For extra flavor, consider packing electrolyte packets or another water enhancer to boost the taste.

If you do decide to treat yourself, try limiting your consumption to less than three drinks per day. That way you can enjoy alcohol in moderation while keeping your nutrition plan on track.

Keep Your Diet on Track with a Nutrition Coach

Indulging during vacation isn’t going to derail your progress. However, overconsumption of calories, sugar, and alcohol can make it harder to return to your nutrition routine. You can stay on track during vacation by setting reasonable boundaries with yourself and practicing mindful eating.

Do you want to get in tune with your health and learn how to make better food choices? Get a free consultation with our nutrition coach today!


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