How to Maintain Your Healthy Habits While on Vacation

How to Maintain Your Healthy Habits While on Vacation

Going on vacation is an exciting time! No matter where you go, eating wonderful, local dishes is a highlight of any vacation.

There is a common misconception that travel, vacation, cruises and all-inclusive resorts are synonymous with weight gain. However, one doesn’t necessarily need to equal the other.

Here are some practical tips to maintain your healthy habits while on vacation so you can feel your best during the trip and after you come home:

  • Hydrate! It’s important to hydrate throughout the day with water & other unsweetened beverages, especially during hot summer vacations. People often complain about getting constipated when they’re traveling, and a lack of water can be a reason!
  • Incorporate Veggies When Possible. When going out to eat, choose a vegetable as a side dish or opt for a delicious salad. Keep a snack bag or cooler (with ice packs) handy with fresh fruit and pre-cut vegetables for when you’re on the go.
  • Practice Mindfulness. Cruises or all-inclusive resorts where the food is all you can eat can be overwhelming and you may tend to overeat. Look at all of the options first and choose the one you’re craving the most while filling a good portion of your plate with more healthful choices, like fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Choosing a smaller plate can help you to control your portion sizes and keep you from feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Move Your Body. Find fun ways to move while on vacation. This can look like walking to a new area, bike riding down the boardwalk, taking a yoga class, swimming in a pool, going for a hike, trying paddleboarding, etc! A little something is better than nothing.
  • Watch Your Alcohol Intake. The calories in alcohol and beverages can add up quickly so be mindful of sweetened drinks and choose low-calorie alternatives when possible. Additionally, monitoring how much you’re drinking is important because the more alcohol we drink, the more we tend to make unhealthy food choices. Aim to have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.

And finally for the most important tip of all: don’t be too hard on yourself! If you see that you have gained a couple of pounds, it’s likely due to an increase in sodium, carbs and alcohol (for those who drink). Return to your normal healthy habits and it’s likely that your weight will return to normal within a few days or a week.

If you usually obsess over your weight after vacation, I wouldn’t recommend weighing yourself after you return. This will only leave you feeling frustrated versus reflecting on the nice time away you just had!


Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant