The travel diet: eat healthily to enjoy your trip

This guide to healthy eating will help you stay slim on holiday.

Close up of womans hand holding big slice of pizza on holiday

Most of us view travel as an opportunity to do away with the regularity of our usual routines. Unfortunately, our diets are one of the first things to go. And while travelling often means we return well-rounded with experience, we can also risk coming home rounder in other ways too.

Here’s how to eat healthily while still enjoying a trip away.

Location, location
One thing to keep in mind when booking accommodation is proximity to food options. Try to choose a hotel that is walking distance to supermarkets and fresh food markets, not just restaurants. If your accommodation has a kitchenette (or even just a microwave, a kettle and a mini fridge) be sure to stock up on foods that you will be able to prepare yourself. If your accommodation doesn’t have a fridge, a cooler bag or styrofoam box with ice will work just as well for a short period of time.

Be prepared
Before you set out for a full day of sightseeing, it’s a good idea to plan and prepare some meals in advance. Pack some sandwiches, snacks and water in a backpack and you will avoid having to fork out for an expensive, and possibly unhealthy, lunch. Plus, you’ll escape lining up with other tourists at restaurants and food carts.

In many countries where it’s unadvisable to consume the local drinking water, bottled water is the only way to go. But instead of wasting money, see if you can use your own glass or stainless bottle and refill it wherever filtered water is available. The fitness centre at your hotel will usually have a water cooler that you can use. Staying hydrated can help to keep sugar cravings at bay.

Eat regularly
Try not to throw your routine out the window completely while on holiday. Having access to regular meals and snacks is important to maintain energy levels and allow you to stay in good form during the day. It’s important not to skip meals as this can make you ravenous later in the day and potentially allow you to succumb to anything ‘naughty’ that crosses your path.

Plan ahead
Of course, no holiday would be complete without a comprehensive sampling of the local flavours. You don’t go to Italy without eating a pizza or five! Eating well doesn’t mean that you have to deny yourself delicious foods – just make sure to limit some of the less healthy choices. As well as packing your lunches, use the internet to plan ahead and find healthy and delicious restaurants. A good tip is check out the restaurant’s menu online before  deciding to eat there. You could also ask hotel staff and any other locals where they like to eat most. 

When at a restaurant
Try these tips to help curb your consumption of calories when eating out:

  • ask for dressings and sauces on the side so you can control how much you eat
  • choose entrée-sized portions where possible
  • avoid rich or heavy dishes, especially in the evening
  • eat until you’re satisfied but don’t overeat.

By following these eating tips you’ll stay healthy and slim when away, while enjoying an array of new flavours as well!



    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th May 2015
    We always buy yoghurt etc for breakfast and usually have something we can take for lunch i.e. some fruit, cheese etc. We eat dinner out but are careful not to go overboard with the number of courses! I seem to come home lighter than I went away, but that is because we walk and walk and walk. One of the first questions we ask when we arrive at a new destination is where is the nearest supermarket, fruit shop etc. We try to stay in apartments which gives us better eating options. On a river cruise we did, we made sure that we did not have the "full breakfast" or the "full lunch" opting for the lighter options. I tend to be a bit overweight so try to keep things under control when away. I am always astonished at the amount others seem to eat, particularly on a cruise.
    1st Jun 2016
    When I went on a big trip to Europe I was determined to not to gain weight but also to enjoy the local delicacies. So I had fish and chips in Dublin, Ploughman's lunch with pork pie in Manchester, Sally Lunn bun with clotted cream in Bath, pizza in Rome etc etc. But when it wasn't a special meal I chose healthy options (I was on tour so staying in hotels) such as fruit salad for dessert and plenty of veg. And I walked whenever I could. After seven weeks I came home after a fabulous holiday to find I had lost 3kg.!!!

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