How to Eat Healthy on Vacation & Stick to Your Diet

How to Eat Healthy on Vacation & Stick to Your Diet
By Alyssa Kessel, RDN, LD, Expert Dietitian

A vacation is a time to relax, unwind, and explore new places. If you are like the majority of my patients, however, you might just get anxious about how your vacation could sabotage your hard-earned weight loss progress. Believe it or not, you can enjoy yourself and not pack on the pounds while traveling. It just requires a little more planning, strategizing, and willpower. Here’s how to beat the vacation temptations!

Plan Your Meals Ahead

This is the most important tip to set you up for success when traveling. You’ve put in lots of time to plan out all the details of your trip, so why not put in the effort to also plan your meals?

If you are vacationing at a place where you will have access to a kitchen, create your grocery list ahead of time and choose foods that are compliant with your diet. If you love a special protein shake or nutrition bar, pack some extra with you in case the local grocery store doesn’t sell them.

Dining out? Do some research before you leave to find healthy restaurants around the areas you’ll be visiting. Take it a step further and review their menu online to make sure there are options that fit your diet plan. You can also try ordering half-sized portions, sharing entrees, or taking home leftovers.

Pack healthy snacks to eat

To go along with the first tip, you should bring along healthy snacks if you think you might have trouble finding healthy options. We all know the snack temptations surrounding airports, rest stops, and vending machines. Bring along your favorite protein bars or healthy nuts to avoid these temptations. Remember, it’s important to eat every few hours; if not, you can end up famished and may overdo it at your next meal. Log your snacks & meals in a health app to make sure you stay on schedule.

Resist the urge to splurge


We often will ignore any unhealthy eating while traveling and rationalize it with, “Well, I’m on vacation, so I’ll get back on my diet when I’m home.” While it’s okay to go off your plan and enjoy a special meal or dessert, you don’t want to let all of your hard work go to waste by indulging all week long. Give yourself a “treat” each day, whether it is dessert or alcohol (don’t splurge on both). You definitely want to enjoy your vacation, but don’t overdo it.

Stay hydrated

When you’re traveling, it can be tempting to skip out on extra sips of water to avoid a trip to the bathroom. Don’t do this! When you don’t take in enough fluids, it’s easy to mistake your dehydration for hunger. Bring a water bottle with you and drink up!

Be active

It’s easy to forget to work out while you’re on vacation. My recommendation is to work out first thing in the morning so that you have the rest of the day to enjoy your time off and not worry about finding time to exercise.

Take an early morning walk or run, hit up the hotel gym (if available), or bring some of your workout videos from home to get your day started. Walking is your secret weapon when traveling – it can be an exciting way to see more of the area and get your steps in for the day. You can also plan fun outdoor activities for later in the day, like bike riding, hiking, swimming, or kayaking. These will all help you burn off some of those extra calories you may have “splurged on” the day before!


Following these tips will help prevent gaining extra pounds when traveling. Remember to enjoy yourself; you are on vacation after all! We can get you started on a custom weight loss plan, or if you are already a patient, we can work on a specific meal plan for your trip. If you are worried about meal planning on a vacation or would like to get into a new routine before setting sail, give us a call at 513-791-9474.

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