This blog post was updated on September 27, 2017.

Travel Tips: How to Diet on Vacation, Flickr: Lee Brimelow

Drink Plenty of Water!


Maintaining your diet is difficult as it is, but imagine trying to do so on a trip when you have the threat of vacation-mode. Those feelings of relaxation enable you to be careless with your calories; you even find yourself having an extra drink or two because you’re on vacation. The idea of dieting while trying to unwind sounds constricting but a few simple travel tips will keep you on your new year’s resolutions, especially if they are diet and travel related!

Snack all day: There is no excuse as to not snacking in between meals with so many options available. There are Ziploc sized snack bags, pre-made snack treats and grab and go meal options that make it easier to avoid sporadic calories. Before a long walking tour, consider throwing a granola bar and a banana in your bag to settle your stomach rather than grabbing a quick (and probably) expensive hot dog. If you’re going to be on a long train ride during a trip, pack a healthy sandwich with high protein, leafy greens and a travel-friendly side salad to avoid high-calorie-and-high-priced options on the spot.

Drink a lot of (filtered) water: Water is the essential to not only staying fit but also to maintaining your body during your travels. Whether or not you are on a diet, you need water to get yourself through the day. In countries where filtered water may be unavailable, consider traveling with a water filter to eliminate the risk of contamination. In warm places during your travels, you’ll need an extra amount of water just to stay hydrated, but drinking 8-12 glasses a day will also keep your cravings at a curve while maintaining your diet abroad.

Moderate your eating habits: Dieting doesn’t always have to be a tedious task; when you eat in moderation you can enjoy the best of dieting secrets and somewhat unhealthy food. For instance, you may find yourself at a host family’s home in Buenos Aires, Argentina and you simply cannot refuse a large steak meal. Rather than indulging completely or risking insulting your kind guest, eat in moderation. Explain your diet situation but your enthusiasm to try new foods. Try having a smaller sized portion in addition to healthy options, like a salad or a yogurt later in the day. Don’t let your diet habits kill the wanderlust of trying new foods abroad; be creative! Consider trying a new healthy dish, such as a freshly made falafel in the Middle East!

Avoid buffets or all you can eat/drink: The beauty of all-inclusive vacation packages is the option to arrive at your destination without worrying about additional costs. The downside is the extra calories you will most likely consume. You might psychologically eat for no reason just because it is available and free; you even might make the excuse that you have to eat to get your money’s worth. Get this mentality out of your mind and fuel yourself plentiful but not to the extreme. Try to find healthier options such as fresh broiled fish, sushi and light pasta dishes rather than easy to grab big burgers and fries. The same goes for the all you can drink bar which can be dangerous if you love high calorie drinks like margaritas and mojitos. Stick to lighter drinks if you are calorie conscious; ask your bartender if they have specialty drinks like the skinny Margarita.

Get plenty of exercise: The key to losing weight is what else – exercise! We often use the excuse to “get off the diet” on vacation because we are fully relaxed. This should be the prime time to mix work and pleasure by creatively working out. Playing beach volleyball on the sands of the beach in Cancun easily counts as a workout if you play vigorously for an hour. Climbing that mountain in the rain forest in Puerto Rico is absolutely a strenuous activity. Stop drooling over your balcony view and get out and enjoy your travels while burning those calories! The best part- you’ll see many sights, come home exhausted and catch up on some much needed rest- also essential while dieting.


Photo: Lee Brimelow

One Response

  1. R James

    It is great to go on vacation and return with a fitter body and even more relaxed and ready to go, this plan falls right into mix of a great vacation that will cosst less in the end. Thanks


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