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IMG_2733Vacation season is in full swing and many of you have been asking questions about how to stay healthy and maintain the GreenLite eating plan while you are traveling.

So, we asked our clients who have to travel for work on a regular basis how they manage to stay on the program. Here’s what they had to say. 

1. Avoid taking a vacation from your regular snacking schedule.  If you normally have morning and afternoon snacks to prevent overeating at mealtimes, vacation is not a time to stop this healthy habit.

Healthy Tip: Be sure to have some tasty and satisfying snacks on hand for a long flight or between meals while you’re out and about. Some great examples are: Beef or turkey jerky, protein bars, raw almonds, and mozzarella sticks. Take a mini cooler stocked with your healthy favorites to the beach or along with you in the car so you’ll have smart choices on-hand. Plan to rest and enjoy your snack at the time you normally eat it.

2. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol. The atmosphere on airplanes can be dry enough without the added dehydration that alcohol causes. While a cocktail can be relaxing (and it IS a vacation), it’s also high in calories with no real nutritional value.  Enjoying a few drinks can add up your caloric intake quite quickly. Case in point: A strawberry daiquiri contains around 250 calories. Drink two, and you’ve taken in as many calories as an average meal!  Additionally, alcohol lowers your resistance to temptation and may lead to poor food choices later on. And to top it off, alcohol can reduce your body’s ability to burn fat!

Healthy Tip: Alternate drinks with plain water to cut back on calories and to stay hydrated. Add cucumber or lemon slices if the water gets boring. Iced herbal teas, diet lemonade, and low-cal fruit-flavored waters are also refreshing, diet-friendly options.

3. Avoid mini bar madness. It’s an interesting phenomenon: candy and soda that you don’t even normally enjoy becomes extremely enticing when it’s inside a tiny fridge in a fancy hotel room. Not only does everything in it cost 3 times what it should, nothing is diet-friendly.

Healthy Tip: Did you know you can ask to remove the contents of your mini bar in advance? Pack a cooler with your favorite healthy snacks and beverages, and then make room for them in the mini fridge when you arrive. Take advantage of the concierge services and have them find you a healthy grocery store where you can buy yogurt, fruits, and salads. This will cut serious calories and save serious cash.

4. We tend to have an “I deserve it!” frame of mind while on vacation and for some of us it can be tough to resist the high-fat (and carb) offerings at a new restaurant because the excitement of being on vacation makes you want something different. Unfortunately, that “newness” can lead to impulse ordering and lots of extra calories.

Healthy Tip: Look up close-by restaurants before leaving home. If possible, visit the restaurant’s online menu and print it for future reference. This allows you to make healthier choices or make notes of special requests that will help you cut calories, such as eliminating sauces. Skip the bread basket (free food almost always equals unhealthy food) , order lean meats and veggies, and if you must have dessert, suggest ordering one for the whole table to share.

5. Keep to your schedule.  Try to maintain a similar routine for the timing of your meals, exercise, and sleep. This will help prevent overeating and fatigue.

Healthy Tip: Get good shut-eye. This is easier said than done, especially if you want to see and do everything on vacation! But do your best to hit the sack early so you can have loads of energy for your days full of sightseeing.  If you have a choice among hotels, find one with cardio equipment, strength-training equipment or a decent-sized pool for lap swimming. Nearly every cruise ship these days has a fitness center or track on an outdoor deck. But you could also consider bringing along an exercise band for strength training; doing simple push-ups, squats and lunges in your room; scouring the television listings for a cable yoga class; or taking a jog around your hotel neighborhood. Heck, even a walk on the beach is good for you! You’ve got no excuse!

Most importantly, don’t stress out about it! Make the best choices you can in any given situation. If you get off track, don’t throw in the towel. Enjoy yourself and do your best, this is your vacation after all!

What are your best vacation tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy GreenLite friendly lifestyle? Leave a comment and share your health secret!

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