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How to Keep Healthy on Vacation

Have you ever come back from vacation feeling sluggish?  Or how about finding your clothes are a bit tighter than before you went away?  I have and I chalk it up to overindulging on foods I don’t normally consume.

Let’s face it–vacations are for letting loose, enjoying yourself and having fun.  Unfortunately, depending on your destination, they can also mean diet and nutrition danger zones.  Ever take a cruise where there is food everywhere, all the time??  And I’m not talking about the low calorie, high fiber, nutritious variety either.  If you’re not careful you might end up coming ashore carrying an extra 5 or so pounds by the end of your voyage.  We all need to get away so I certainly don’t advocate avoiding the places we like to go or doing the things we like to do.  Instead, I’ll share my own strategies on how to enjoy your time away and still maintain a healthy diet.

First of all, I tell myself ahead of time that I will allow myself to indulge, but within reason.  Moderation is key!  If I’m at the beach I will get those greasy (but delicious!) boardwalk French fries, but I only do it once during my stay.  Same thing goes for desserts like ice cream.  Enjoy, but don’t make it an every day thing.  If you’re going someplace where all your meals will be ordered from a restaurant, look for healthy options.  Big salads, fresh fruit and lean protein are your best bets.  Choose grilled, baked or broiled cooking methods over fried or "sauteed."  Check out all our tips on eating out to help you make the best selections.

Another way to keep feeling good while away is to stay active.  Relaxing is great, but also make it a point to get up and do something.  If you’re at the beach why not take a walk and look for seashells or go swimming?  Snorkeling is a great choice if you’re vacationing on one of the islands.  At the lake or in the mountains you can go hiking or canoeing–all you have to do is modify the activity to your destination.  I personally take advantage of hotels that have gyms.  I’ll typically get up early, go to the gym and get in an hour workout before breakfast.

One last piece of advice–keep the alcohol in check as well.  Not only are those fruity, tropical drinks packed with empty calories, they’re also deceiving.  One too many and you’ll spend the following day of your vacation nursing a hangover.  Not fun!!

So enjoy your time away this summer, but do it wisely.  You’ll find when you return home you won’t feel like you need a vacation to recuperate from your vacation.

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