I’ve been in Hawaii for several days and have been loving this trip! The beach, water, fresh seafood – it’s all amazing! Today I want to share some tips about how to stay on track with eating healthy while on vacation.
I used to be that girl who would work SUPER hard at the gym and eat extremely clean leading up to a trip, and then while on vacation I would completely blow it. I would eat whatever I wanted, drink as many sugary drinks as possible, and didn’t even think about working out. Now that I’ve gotten older (and my body doesn’t bounce back quite as quick). I’ve learned that I can enjoy my vacation, while also not losing my healthy lifestyle in the process.
Now to be completely honest – I have not been eating super strict or working out like crazy to prepare for Hawaii. Instead, I’ve just been keeping with my normal healthy lifestyle stuff. I eat a balanced diet and workout 5 days a week. I just felt like my schedule was WAY too packed to even think about a strict plan, and the trip kind of snuck up on me. Thankfully, my healthy lifestyle is pretty much a habit at this point, so I felt pretty good going into the trip (aside from the hormonal weight gain I randomly have been experiencing for weeks at a time – something I can’t control at the moment).
While in Hawaii, I have been continuing to maintain a healthy diet, while also really enjoying my trip! If you have a long vacation planned this summer, I hope these tips help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet too!
Tip #1 Eat three meals (cough cough don’t skip breakfast)
Hi, my name is Jackie and I get hangry. Is anyone else like that? I especially get hangry when I’m on vacation or traveling, and our meals aren’t planned out and we have a packed day. Usually it goes something like this- we get up early and start getting ready for activities we have planned for the day and we don’t have anything quick on hand to grab and go. Before I know it, it’s 3pm and I haven’t had a bite to eat. At this point, I will eat ANYTHING to bring my blood sugar up, and I’m definitely not going to eat a light salad. I will always choose a hamburger and fries when I let myself get this hungry.
So here’s my #1 tip if you are traveling and want to eat somewhat healthy – don’t skip your meals. Eat every meal, even breakfast, to avoid becoming hypoglycemic (letting your blood sugar drop too low). I personally make better food choices when I’m not starving, and I bet you are similar. If you are able to, you can even grab breakfast items to keep in your room (if you have a fridge, Greek yogurt and berries are super easy to do in a hotel room) to have on hand to avoid getting in a pickle.
Tip #2 Include protein + veggies at every meal
I generally eat a low carb, lean protein, and healthy fat diet in my day-to-day life. On vacation, I generally tend to eat the same, but I definitely treat myself to a few more carbs (and in Japan I had a ton of carbs at every meal). However, something I always keep in mind while on vacation is to have protein and veggies at every meal. This means for breakfast I’ll try to get a veggie omelet or a breakfast sandwich with avocado and spinach (I just swap the bread for gg crackers). Lunch and dinner are somewhat similar where I try to get a salad with meat or a meat with a side veggie. Now if I see something on the menu I want to try (like truffle French fries or fried calamari), I totally will – but I’m not that girl who will only eat carbs for a meal and expect to stay full. I need a protein to stay full at each meal, and I know that about myself. Keeping this in mind while I choose what to eat on vacation keeps me on track!
Tip: I have asked several times for my meals to be modified to help me out here. For Example, I have had a breakfast egg white burrito each day while here, without the tortilla (they just put it in a bowl). For lunch, we keep going back to this amazing steak shack, and I ask for two servings of salad instead of rice. Don’t be afraid to ask! The worst they can say is no, but most of the time, restaurants are more than willing to make modifications to your meal.
Tip #3 Avoid sugary cocktails and don’t drink your calories
Tip #3 is something I absolutely did not do on our all-inclusive honeymoon two years ago lol. I drank so many sugary cocktails on our honeymoon, its no wonder by day three I was super bloated. Nowadays, I’m a bit smarter in my cocktail choices while on vacation. This may be because I’m aware of the sugar content, but I also get pretty terrible hangovers these days from sugary drinks. While on vacation, I try to stay away from sugary drinks, and typically order wine or vodka soda + lime (In Hawaii I have been doing mojitos with club soda and without the simple syrup). That’s it! Sometimes I’ll try a good cocktail if it seems like it’s calling my name, but even then I ask that they avoid the simple syrup (but sometimes bartenders are really against this and will still sneak in syrup to balance out the drink).
I also try not to drink all day while on vacation. Every now and then, I’ll drink during the day on the beach. But typically, I just like to hydrate with water while in the sun. This just saves me calories and a hangover!
Tip #4 drink water!
Moving right along while we are on the topic of beverages, drink your water girl! This is SO hard for me while on vacation. I am not perfect at this one at all, but it is something I am actively trying to do. We all know water helps with ALL the things in our body, and it’s important to stay hydrated while on vacation. I forgot my reusable bottle on this trip, so I’ve just been buying big packs of water bottles instead to keep in our room. When I am hydrated, I feel better all around.
Tip #5 Take a look at menus in advance
If you know some of the restaurants you will be going to in advance, it is always super helpful to take a peek at the menu in ahead of time. I do this in my everyday life as well, but it is something I really like to do while on vacation. I typically look at menus in advance and have a few items picked out that are on the healthy side. This way I go into the meal with a plan and don’t get side tracked when someone at the table orders something not super healthy that sounds good in the moment.
I also do this to see if there is anything on the menu I really want to splurge on! I’ll get into this more with the next tip, but I don’t splurge on every meal, I choose what I want to splurge on wisely. So for example, my favorite dessert of all time is tiramisu. If a restaurant has tiramisu, I am 100% ordering it and not sharing it- end of story. If I know the restaurant we are going to on Tuesday has tiramisu, then I won’t order the apple pie at the restaurant on Monday since I don’t really like apple pie, and instead I’m holding out for my fav. This essentially helps me plan out when I’m splurging and ensures I’m not going crazy at every meal.
Tip #6 Do treat yourself
You’re on vacation – you gotta live! Like I said above, I will absolutely splurge and eat something not healthy while on vacation. For me, the trick is not splurging and going big on every single meal. I like to splurge on things I genuinely enjoy. Tiramisu and dark chocolate desserts are my jam and are the things I personally love and think are worth splurging on. And when we were in Japan, I had rice or noodles at every meal. However, anything fruity, vanilla, or fried I’ll pass on since I just don’t like them as much. I guess for me, if I’m going to treat myself, I want it to be something I REALLY like!
Tip #7 Pack healthy snacks if you are able to
I know this is tough if you are traveling long distance and flying, but if you are able to – packing healthy snacks is a game changer. For this trip to Hawaii, I brought almond butter packs and gg crackers, while my mom brought F-Factor protein bars (mom is the MVP). We also stocked up on Skinny Pop and mixed nuts for the beach once we arrived. When we drive places for the weekend, I even go bigger by bringing along my own almond milk and stuff to make gg pizzas. I personally feel like having healthy snacks on hand save me from getting into situations where I’m hungry and make poor eating decisions. It’s as simple as that!
Tip #8 Schedule in some workouts
Okay this isn’t directly related to eating healthy, but it is a part of my routine to stay healthy while on vacation. I don’t technically exercise every day, but I do try to move every day while on vacation. Some days that’s a hardcore BBG workout, while other days it’s an hour long walk on the beach. Regardless, I think it’s important to be active, even while on vacation.
I also like to do a more intense workout if I know I want to splurge one day at a meal. Even though it doesn’t quite balance out, I know that since I burned more calories, eating more calories (I don’t count calories, this is just to give you my general thought process) won’t set me as far back as it would if I wasn’t being active at all.
I hope these tips inspire you to stay healthy on your next trip while also enjoying your vacation! We are off today to do some hiking and exploring on the island, have a great day babes!
I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. The purpose of this blog is to share my personal journey and experience with diet and fitness. As always, consult a physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.