Sustaining a healthy lifestyle is endless. However, amidst the healthfulness it is essential to let loose from time to time. One of those times is vacation. The most useful resource on vacation is your mind. The more deliberate you are with each food choice, the more content you will be overall. Treat yourself where you see fit, to maintain sanity, so to speak. Nonetheless, we do not want a vacation to turn into a free-reign catastrophe. Unless Vegas is your resting-place for travel, what happens on vacation will not stay on vacation. The euphoria from maintaining health consciousness, while faced with the hustle and bustle of travel, will stay with you. Traveling often involves a great deal of walking, hiking, and lugging around gear, so you are bound to get some physical activity in.
Here are a few tips for continuing a healthy life (even on vacation).
Order the healthiest option on the menu (and taste everyone else’s indulgences).
Restaurants serve the customer and are always willing to work around requests. Instead of making a hasty or impulsive decision when an ideal meal combination is not on the menu, simply ask, “May I have this protein paired with this side instead?” When paying the bill, you will feel content because you were able to feed your physical hunger, but also, did not have to sacrifice on trying the goodies! The ‘Oh so tempting ‘mac n’ cheese did not have to be your entire meal and who knows, it might not have been the best mac n’ cheese after all. Small meal modifications will pay off and you will be more comfortable asking to modify your meal next go-round.
As always, stay hydrated.
Oftentimes we overestimate how hydrated we are. If you are feeling thirsty, the truth is, you have already been dehydrated for a while. Beat the thirst by carrying a refillable water bottle. With this, you are helping the environment and your overall health. A lot of the time when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty. Eliminate confusing pains of hunger, thirst, or emotions, by staying hydrated. Also, staying hydrated will contribute your overall daily consumption because you will not feel like you are ‘starving’ every time you walk past a restaurant or smell that next delicious pastry.
Plan ahead for snacks and treats.
Coordinating with group members on when, where, and what you will eat when traveling can be gruesome. Have snacks prepared to hold over until that next sitdown meal. A handful of almonds will ease your hunger for longer and will provide a better source of energy than a donut (and probably cheaper too). The best way to avoid temptation is to avoid any unnecessary choices. If you already have a snack prepared, the need to figure out what you will have is eliminated. Instead, you will get to spend that time enjoying your walk rather than impulsively looking for food because you did not ‘plan’ on being so hungry between a big lunch and dinner.
Choose the stairs!
Choices add up, even the small ones (like stairs) that we usually do not pause and take a moment to see as a choice. Again and again, we instinctively make for the nearest elevator or escalator. If you are faced with a long line to wait for the escalator or the no-line set of stairs, take the stairs. It will be quicker and is a very easy way to reinforce your dedication to a healthy and active lifestyle. The best part is, stairs are unavoidable. When I see stairs, I take a look at my surroundings and think, for example, when I am older, I want to be that person who is still mobile and physically strong enough to choose the stairs. In your life, there will always be another occasion when you have to make the choice to take the stairs or not. Which path do you choose?
Enjoy your time! Don’t rush… eat, breath, sleep, and enjoy your time even more.
Don’t obsess over maintaining your everyday routine. Maintaining your daily routine is challenging enough in your home environment, let alone on vacation. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself. Planning to indulge? The key word is ‘planning.’ Come to terms with the impact of your choice and indulge intentionally. Just remember that you cannot out workout a poor diet. Staying mentally intact is more beneficial to your overall health journey than worrying about that extra drink, snack, dessert, etc., even on vacation.