I am featuring a guest blogger for this post. A fan of my Grow with Nutrition Blog, Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” I hope you enjoy his tips for eating healthy while on vacation.

Vacations are meant to be fun, but coming home from a fantastic summer getaway unable to fit into those warm-weather clothes is not enjoyable. People work so hard to lose those holiday pounds in order to look good in their bathing suits and swim trunks, only to blow their diets while on vacation. Packing up the suitcases does not have to mean packing on the pounds, especially if people do a bit of pre-trip preparation and show a bit of vacation self-discipline.

Cole’s Tip #1 – Have Good Food on Hand

  • One area of temptation for vacationers is often the sheer availability of unhealthy food. Whether a person is flying or driving, he or she will be bombarded with unhealthy food options in airports, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, etc.
  • One way to work around this temptation is to bring healthy snacks on the trip. Most airplanes will let passengers bring healthy food aboard, and traveling in the car with nutritious fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains will reduce the likelihood of feasting on fast food and overpriced gas station fare.
  • Once a person gets to the hotel, he or she can also go out and buy healthy food from grocery store in order to avoid those late-night overeating situations.

Cole’s Tip #2 – Be Prepared

  • This is the Information Age; so many restaurants have menus online. People can research their upcoming vacation spots so that they evaluate which restaurants have the healthiest options. Depending on the nature of the vacation destination, the place might also have health food stores, healthy restaurants, and other such places that cater to the health-conscious tourist.
  • Many restaurants even have special low-calorie or healthy sections in their menus, so eating healthy may be as simple as perusing a menu. Speaking of simplicity, many hotels also offer healthy options via room service, continental breakfast, or in-house restaurant. This information is often available on the hotel’s website, so people should know what healthy amenities hotels offer before traveling so they can, if necessary, select another healthier hotel.
  • I recently took a trip out west and found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only the amenities and services, but also the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to plan out my trip both in and out of the hotel to ensure I was maintain my healthy lifestyle even in the buffet ridden city.

Cole’s Tip #3 – Make the Best of the Situation

  • Vacations are often about spontaneity, letting go, and interacting with others. Eating at a restaurant that serves unhealthy food does not necessarily spell diet doom, however.
  • For starters, eating a healthy snack and a glass of water before the meal can lessen the appetite and eliminate the desire for unhealthy appetizers. The health-conscious diner can still choose relatively healthier options, such as meals that are baked, grilled, steamed and broiled.
  • Brightly colored vegetables are usually a healthy option, as are various fish and salad dishes. Fried foods or dishes doused in creamy sauces are indulgent and can be enjoyed occasionally in moderation.
  • Try to stay away from the buffet bars, as these often encourage mindless, overeating.

Cole’s Final Tip #4 – Indulge Responsibly

  • Vacationers should acknowledge that they will likely slip up at some point and will want to indulge. If they plan for this desire ahead of time, they will be able to make wiser decisions without going high-calorie crazy.
  • Eating healthy otherwise can leave room for occasional indulgences. Following these simple tips and staying active can help you to ensure that you come back from your vacation feeling as great as the day you left!

Thank you Cole for these tips – you can check out Cole’s blog at Cole’s Mill.