One of the main reasons that people travel is to experience international food cities – think the restaurants and bars in Rome or ramen shops in Tokyo – but how do you balance these once in a lifetime dining experiences with eating healthy? After all, you don’t want to miss out, but you also don’t want to arrive home having gained 20 pounds.
By eating strategically and setting dining priorities, you can stick to a healthy diet no matter where you are without feeling as though you’re depriving yourself. Try these 4 strategies on your next vacation and arrive home feeling fit and well-fed.
Keep Groceries On Hand
While you don’t want to eat every meal in your hotel room while on vacation, it’s great to have a few healthy essentials on hand to prevent overindulging on junk. With that in mind, then, book a hotel near a grocery store and request an in-room refrigerator or make one out of a cooler. Stock it with produce, healthy beverages, and quick, nutrition packed snacks like hard boiled eggs. Did you know you can even boil your eggs in the hotel room coffee pot?
Start Your Day Right
Here’s the thing about having breakfast out while on the road: whether you’re at home or abroad, it’s unlikely to be anything special. Rather than noshing on toast or scrambled eggs in the morning, start your day with a nutrient boost like whey protein. This will leave you feeling fueled for your adventure, rather than weighed down. You can even toss whey powder in coffee to turn your morning caffeine into a protein power-up.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Drinking is a major part of the culture in many international food cities – think wine in Italy or France or beer in Germany or the UK – but overall drinking your calories is a waste when there’s so much great food available. Instead, opt for water at meals and carry more with you so you aren’t tempted to stop for a soda or coffee while you’re out exploring.
Snack More, Dine Less
It may seem counterintuitive, but one reason that people often overeat is because they don’t eat often enough. Rather than trying to save up your calories for a big dinner, opt to check out the local cafes and sample the local cuisine in the form of snacks and appetizers. By snacking every 2 or 3 hours you can try more foods, stay fueled, and avoid piling on the calories at dinner by consuming 4 or 5 heavily sauced or carb-dense courses.
Dining out and trying new foods is one of the great pleasures of going on vacation, but it can be a nutritional trap. The next time you set out to take in the sites, be mindful of how many calories you take in. It’s possible to enjoy the food of the world without overindulging too much.