Vacation dining without guilt can be hard. Good food can be an important part and add to the enjoyment of a vacation. Many of us plan our dining ahead of time just like others plan site-seeing tours. Dining can add insight into a culture. It can also give you time off of your feet to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Unfortunately, vacation dining can also lead to unwanted pounds and regrets when you get home.
It does not have to be this way. You can avoid expanding your waistline and still enjoy the dining experience while on vacation. Here are some tips to successfully guide you in enjoying vacation dining without guilt.
- Eat 3 Meals per Day: Enjoy the local cuisine, whether it be Florida seafood or pasta in Italy. You are on vacation. Enjoy yourself! Skipping meals can lead to overeating, making poor food choices, or grazing later in the day. Just like at home, eating at regular intervals can keep hunger at bay.
- Eat 1 Plate or 1 Bowl of Food per Meal: It is not the first plate of food that will kill your diet; the second and third plates will. Again, eat what you want! Just do not overeat.
- Have dessert, but be reasonable: A single scoop of ice cream or a small gelato are fine. Enjoy yourself, but portion size is important.
- Have 1 Small Snack per Day: You are on vacation; so treat yourself. The snack should not be the size of a full meal, though. If you are at a Disney Park, then get a Dole Whip. If you want a beer or a glass of wine, then let it be your “snack.”
- No Buffets or All You Can Eat: Why tempt yourself to overeat? This goes back to the first tip. If other family members insist on going to a buffet, then order from the menu instead. If all that is available is the buffet, then it will require fortitude. Fill 1 plate with what you want and stop there.
Do not Finish Others Plates: Dads, this usually applies to us. I have been guilty of this on many occasions. Enjoy your own food. If others at your table cannot finish their meals, then ask for a carry-out box or (and this is hard) ask the server to remove the dish (and your temptation).
- Avoid Calories from Drinks: Calories from drinks are almost always empty calories without nutritional benefit. On vacation, many of us will drink soda, soda, soda, or beer, beer, beer. Fruit drinks, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, are also loaded with calories and sugar. You can get all of these at home. There is nothing special about sodas, beer, or fruit drinks that will enhance your travels. Water, still or sparkling, unsweet tea or coffee, are much better choices.
Do not Overestimate the Calories You Have Burned: This is easy to do, especially on active vacations like at a Disney vacation, hiking trails in Colorado, or doing a walking tour of a city. You burn approximately 0.5 calories per pound per mile ( 0.5 cal x pounds x miles). A 200 pound man will burn 100 calories per mile. He will have to walk roughly 2.5 miles to burn off a 24 oz. fountain drink.
- Get Rid of the Food Taste: The taste of food, especially sugars and starches, in our mouths stimulates our appetites. This can lead to overeating or grazing. Brushing your teeth or chewing sugar-free mint gum soon after eating will help prevent this.
I hope that these tips help! Remember, quality over quantity. Eat what you want! Enjoy yourself! Taste the wonderful regional and global cuisines as you travel. Just do not overeat. You can have great food, but not gain weight. Here is a short review to make it easy.
4 Simple Rules to Vacation Dining Without Guilt
- Eat 3 meals per day.
- Eat 1 plate or 1 bowl of food per meal.
- Eat 1 snack per day.
- No, or at least not many, calories should come from drinks.