If you are on a diet and heading off on vacation, here are some ways to enjoy yourself without gaining weight:
Pack for the plane
Most airline meals and snack boxes have more than 1,000 calories! Pack your own snacks or shop the airport for healthier choices. My favorite travel snack is beef jerky and an apple. Jerky is low in calories and fat and the fruit is high in fiber – together they’ll keep you full for hours.
Don’t clean your plate
Restaurant portions can be 2-3 times bigger than what you eat at home. Go ahead and indulge on delicious food, just not so much that you end up gaining weight. A great way to control portions is to share an order. Split an oversized entrée and have a side salad, for example. Eat half a sandwich and share or save the rest. At a buffet take tasting-size portions of anything high in calories.
Stock your hotel room
Request a refrigerator for your hotel room so you can store healthy snacks, such as low-fat yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk, smoothies, fruit and vegetables. If you don’t have a refrigerator, good nonperishable choices include nuts, seeds, high-fiber cereal and crackers, peanut butter, popcorn, and single-serving containers of fruit.
There’s no reason to abstain from alcohol just because you are on a diet. The secret is to steer clear of calorie-laden drinks like a piña colada that packs 450 calories and 18 grams of fat –and that’s for just one! Instead, opt for a waist-friendly cocktail, such as Bacardi rum with a splash of pineapple juice that has only 100 calories.
Any treat in moderation
Vacation isn’t much fun if you feel deprived. Treats are fine in moderation, like having a refreshing scoop of ice cream rather than a calorie-packed sundae. Desserts run about 50 – 150 calories per bite, so keep to three bites and even a decadent one won’t blow your diet.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to her free weekly weight loss newsletter.