By Alison McLaughlin, RD, MPH
Most places have more than a few restaurants and usually at least once 24-hour buffet. These buffets have vast amounts of food, including various salad options, main entrees, soups, every bread variety you could imagine, and desserts galore. At first, you feel like you are in food heaven, but after a few self-induced food comas, you may start to feel sluggish because your body isn’t used to eating so much, so often. Has this ever happened to you? After experiencing this first hand, I wanted to share five tips to help you stay healthy and feel great on your next vacation.
1. Maintain your usual habits: If you normally do not have dessert after every meal, then why start? Be sure to treat yourself, but make sure it is worth it! Try sharing a dessert with your friends or loved ones to cut down on the portion size.
2. Recognize that drinks have calories: Margaritas, daiquiris, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, and other island-like drinks contain calories, which add up quickly. Remember to hydrate with water when possible, it has many health benefits and it’s calorie-free.
3. Listen to your hunger cues: Being surrounded by food 24-7 makes it easy for us to eat more food than we really need. Listen to your body and let it tell you when you are hungry, not your eyes.
4. Exercise: Burn off the extra calories you consume. There is no excuse for not having enough time to exercise while on vacation, so why not go for a walk/hike, take a ride in a kayak, or go for a nice swim?
5. Bounce back: When on vacation, it’s easy to stray away from your normal behaviours. Feelings of guilt may arise because of this, but just make sure you bounce back to the healthy lifestyle that fits your needs when you get home. Get back to being you!