5 Genius Ways To Eat Healthily (Without Depriving Yourself) On Vacation
While we'd never suggest putting yourself on a strict diet during a vacation just for the sake of healthy eating, keeping up with a few small nutrition habits could make a huge difference in your gut health, mood, and energy levels on the road. Below, five must-know travel tips straight from nutrition experts:
Take a trip to the local market
"Visit a uniquely local market and pick up produce and other odds and ends to enjoy for snacks or breakfast," registered dietitian, nutrition consultant, and bestselling author of The MIND Diet Maggie Moon, M.S., R.D., suggests. Look for fresh fruit, vegetables, and local proteins of your choice. Try to experiment with produce you may not have at your home base, too.
Hitting the market will help you enjoy new food experiences, spend quality time in your destination, and have one fresh and balanced meal each day. Not to mention, it could help you save money for other adventures on your trip.
Schedule post-meal walks and morning movement
It's not exactly easy to stick with your workout routine while you're on vacation, especially if that involves novelty gym equipment or a Pilates reformer. Instead, prioritize movement over rigid exercises.
"Physical activity can play a significant role in your body's metabolism and overall health, even while on vacation," internal medicine doctor and chief medical officer of Modern Age Anant Vinjamoori, M.D., explains. If possible, Vinjamoori says, take a walk or engage in some form of light exercise about 30 minutes after eating.
"This coincides with the peak of glucose delivery into your bloodstream for most people, helping to optimize the body's energy use and maintain better metabolic control," he explains.
If you crave even more movement, set aside time in the morning to do a quick yoga flow, go on a scenic run, or take a local exercise class to get your day off to an energized start.
Bring your supplements
"I recommend sticking as close to your usual supplement routine as possible but making some travel-specific tweaks," dietitian, health coach, and author Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, INHC, says.
If you already follow a supplement routine with a particular health goal in mind, ask your health care provider if they have any recommendations for travel-specific supplements to invest in, Cording suggests.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Do your best to keep up with an adequate hydration plan, as dehydration can manifest as fatigue, headaches, and other not-so-fun feelings to have on vacation.
"If you plan on drinking alcohol during your trip, bring an electrolyte supplement for the next morning to add to water," Cording says. This will help to rehydrate you and get you back on your feet sooner.
Let yourself indulge a little
All these habits aside, remember that you're on vacation and shouldn't stress over sticking to a rigid routine, diet, or workout plan.
"An indulgent meal or even an indulgent week won't permanently impact your overall diet," Cording says, and neither will skipping a workout.
"Remember, while these guidelines can enhance your vacation wellness routine, it's equally important to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, mental well-being is a crucial part of overall health," Vinjamoori says.
If you tend to come back from vacation feeling sluggish and out of balance, try implementing healthy habits in your travel routine. Shop local farmers markets, take walks after dinner, squeeze in morning exercise if you can, prioritize hydration, and let yourself indulge when you want to, as vacation is meant to be enjoyed. If you want more healthy travel tips, check out our Well Traveled series here.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.