If you're concerned about staying active and healthy on your vacation, then you've probably already heard the usual advice: Say no to alcohol, skip the desserts and work out in the mornings before anyone wakes up.
This advice may mean well, but it's, uh, just a little depressing. Who wants to go on vacation just to feel tied down by countless rules?
We say nix all the ultra-restrictive measures and take a gentler approach that focuses on feeling good above anything else.
Introduce indulgences slowly.
The whole point of vacation is to indulge! You're breaking out of your routine, seeing new things and, yes, trying delicious food. This may mean a three-cheese quesadilla at a beach resort or a decadent brownie after dinner on the town. Go ahead and expect to indulge, but take it slowly at first so you don't get an upset tummy or feel your energy levels crash. Even just knowing you can have anything you want will likely stop you from binging.
Drink lots of water.
Water is your best friend on vacation. Drink lots of it. Whether you'll be on long flights, lounging on a hot beach or eating more sodium or sugar than usual, none of these things are worth overly worrying about. Simply resolve to drink a little more H20 to help your body manage these extra stressors.
Remember hunger and fullness.
Closely monitoring calories or carbs as you eat out at restaurant after restaurant is a great way to be completely absent from the present moment. Instead, remember something much easier: Do your best to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. That's it. In other words, worry more about portion sizes than the contents of your plate. The goal here is to feel satisfied not stuffed with whatever you choose.
Try "active" tourist activities.
There's nothing more tiring than feeling like you have to hit the hotel gym every morning in to stay fit on vacation. Use this opportunity to rethink exercise. When you're at home, your daily trip to the gym or your nightly run may feel necessary after you've been sitting at a desk the majority of the day. On vacation, you don't need to be so strict because you'll likely be naturally more active. Hike the nearby trails, go on walking tours each day and enjoy swimming around in the pool or ocean. This "exercise" will add up.
Focus on fruits and veggies (and relax on the rest!).
Another easy-to-follow nutrition tip for vacation is to focus on what you can add to your meal, not what to take away. In other words, add fruits and veggies whenever you can and worry less about the rest. Are you eating pizza for dinner? Eat that pizza! Just add a veggie-filled side salad. Want some ice cream for dessert? No big deal! Just don't forget the fresh fruit topping. This fiber will help keep things, ahem, regular and also keep you feeling good.