Summer vacation is the highlight of the year for many. It’s a time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the summer weather. And while our routines may change, unfortunately, our eating habits can change with it—with healthy eating usually becoming an afterthought while away on holiday.
Why Eating Healthy During Summer Can Be Difficult
Our diets can change during the summer months, especially while away on vacation. During these days of relaxation, get-togethers, and fun, our diets can be impacted by:
- Change in mealtimes: Eating meals at different times than we are used to in our normal routines.
- Eating more frequently: Frequent snacking can become a regular habit during the summer, especially at social events.
- Eating high-calorie foods and drinks: Alcohol and specialty drinks are served frequently at events during the summertime, which can be high in calories and added sugars. They also can be accompanied by high calorie snack foods.
- A decreased fruit and vegetable intake: Eating more unhealthy, high-processed foods, can leave less room for important, nutrient-filled foods like fruits and vegetables.
Without planning ahead, these diet changes can make many of us come back from vacation feeling tired, sluggish, and worn out—exactly the opposite of how we expect to feel!
Eating well and making healthy choices while on holiday is key, but staying healthy on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Keep reading to discover how to eat well and stay healthy during your summer vacation.
How To Eat Healthy On Vacation
1. Pack Healthy Snacks
Whether you are travelling to the beach or have a long trip ahead on the road, pack healthy snacks to bring along with you, like:
- Pre-cut veggies and fruit with hummus
- Homemade granola bars
- Raw, unsalted nuts
- Hard-boiled eggs
Having healthy options on hand can help make it much easier to avoid buying unhealthy foods at fast-food restaurants or convenience stores.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated, especially when out in the summer sun, is important to keep energy levels up and avoid heat exhaustion. It is important to drink plenty of water while you’re away. Try bringing insulated, reusable water bottles with you wherever you go and refill them as needed.
Many fruits and vegetables have high water content, such as Cucumbers, watermelons, Peppers, pineapple, and Tomatoes—making them perfect on-the-go summer snacks. They double up as healthy snacks and can be a way to consume more water!
3. Buy Or Bring Your Own Food
If your vacation spot has a kitchen or food prep space, take advantage of it. Bring your own food with you in a cooler, or find a store near your vacation spot to stock up on healthy choices like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole-grain products.
Buying food to prepare can lower the number of times you need to eat out, and can help you make informed choices about what you are eating while away. It can also hold you accountable—you’ll want to eat what you buy so it doesn’t go to waste!
4. Be Mindful Of Sugary Drinks
Nothing beats a cold summertime drink when the weather is hot, but be mindful of the fact that many alcoholic drinks, specialty drinks (like iced coffees and milkshakes), and sodas can be high in sugars and added calories. Be mindful of how many of these drinks you have while away, and when possible, choose water and try adding lemon, Cucumber, or orange slices for flavor.
5. Plan Your Meals
Plan your meals before leaving for vacation (even if it’s just a day trip). Having your meals planned out can help you stick to eating healthy and takes the guesswork out of what you’ll be eating that day.
Look for healthy recipes and plan your grocery list accordingly. Be sure to save your favorite recipes to your device or print them out ahead of time!
6. Fill Up On Veggies!
Aim to have some kind of vegetable with each meal. As an added nutritional bonus, vegetables are full of fiber and can help keep you feeling full longer.
There are several ways to include more veggies in your vacation meals, including:
- Serving various cut-up vegetables as a healthy snack
- Grilling veggies on the barbecue
- Making fresh salads to have with your dinners
7. Rethink The All-Or-Nothing Mentality
While on vacation, many of us eat whatever (and however much) we want. But overindulging can lead to digestive issues—as well as feelings of shame and guilt once you return home.
On the flip side, being too strict can impact the quality of your vacation. Constantly worrying about calories and food can take away from enjoying your holiday, and restricting yourself too much isn’t much of a vacation at all!
Try not to think in black and white while on vacation—moderation is key! Plan to eat well most of the time, but don’t deprive yourself of the occasional treat. Plan to indulge a few times over your holiday so you’re able to enjoy it (rather than feeling like you’re “giving in”).
Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be A Chore
With a little bit of planning ahead of time, eating healthy while on vacation is possible—whether you’re planning an extended trip or relaxing at home. Following these tips will help make healthy summer eating a breeze so you can make the most of your summer days.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out even morehealthy recipe ideas for all of your summer adventures.