Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies for Independence Day

For many of us, the 4th of July means a trip to the beach. However, going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to forego your weight loss efforts! Read on and follow these easy tips and stay on track while eating out for the holiday weekend.

1.       Don’t treat eating out as a special occasion. When most people eat out they tend to overeat. Instead, you should eat as if it is a normal meal (eat slowly, stopping when full, don’t stuff yourself).

2.       Resist the urge to splurge and order a high-calorie meal.

3.       Ask for a doggie bag. Don’t feel the need to clean your plate. Ask for a to-go box. You will save calories and money because you will have lunch the next day!

4.       Customize the menu. Going out to eat is not cheap so do not feel bad about asking your server to prepare the entree to your liking. Some tips: grilled chicken instead of fried. Dressing on the side if you order a salad. Ask for veggies instead of fries as your side.

5.       When ordering at a restaurant, stay away from fried, crispy, & creamy foods. Opt for baked, broiled or grilled meats or seafood.

6.       Ask for a half-sized portion.

7.       Split an entree with a friend.

8.       Order an appetizer as your entrée.

9.       Enjoy your food but indulge in moderation. You are on vacation, allow yourself to sample foods but do not feast on them.

10.   When booking hotels, try to find a room with a kitchenette. This will allow you to cook some meals, at least breakfast.

11.   Limit your “treats” to one a day. This will prevent you from over doing it. It will also help you to enjoy your treat more because it will be something you really want.

12.   Pack your workout gear. Be sure not to forget tennis shoes, and workout clothes.

13.   Be active. Walk for sightseeing, swim in the ocean, play that round of golf. There are many ways to get lots of exercise while on vacation that are also a lot of fun!

14.   Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.

15.   Limit creamy or sugary drinks. For instance, an 8 oz. pina colada can have 450 calories. Make smart choices, and use mixers such as soda water that are calorie-free.

16.   Eat a high-protein breakfast every morning.

17.   Drink lots of water! The body often confuses thirst for hunger. Drinking water will help you feel fuller faster.

18.   Pack your own snacks for traveling. Bring extra so in case of delays, you won’t be forced to eat whatever is available. Don’t let the delays/boredom give you an excuse to eat unhealthy snacks.

19.   Find a nearby grocery store. This will allow you to get fresh fruit and veggies to snack on rather than ice cream!

20.   Be fair to yourself and set realistic results. Don’t ruin your vacation by spending hours on the treadmill. Finding fun ways to incorporate exercise will allow you to enjoy your vacation but also maintain your health & fitness goals.

What are your tips for staying healthy on vacation?