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Guilt Free Vacation - How to Indulge and Avoid the Bulge

By DuPage Medical Group

Vacation is a time to throw all your troubles away, relax and unwind.  But if you have worked hard all year to eat healthier and/or lose weight, you probably don’t want to throw all of that away on vacation. Below are some tips and tricks to help you keep your diet on track when vacationing.

Prevent Calorie Disasters:

  •  Plan ahead. Find out what restaurants are available where you are going, then use the restaurant’s website to get nutrition information. A lot of times restaurants will also note the calorie information or have a healthy choices section of the menu.
  • Choose your “cheats”. Use the information you collect to decide what/where you want to “indulge” (so your whole vacation is not spent over-indulging!).
  • Share a meal or dessert.
  • Enjoy the special or unusual foods that you don’t get to enjoy very often but in moderation.
  • Avoid skipping meals. Bring some healthy snacks such as protein granola bars, raisins, other dried fruit, or nuts to help keep hunger and cravings at bay.
  • Go for baked, grilled, or poached foods rather than those that are fried or come in gravy or cream sauces.
  • Ask for double vegetables and skip the potato (with all of the high calorie toppings)!
  • Try to drink as many zero-calorie beverages as possible, such as water or unsweetened tea.
  • Don’t feel guilty leaving some food behind as restaurants typically serve overly-large portions.  Remember, it’s “in the waste or on the waist.” Consider splitting a meal or asking at dinner for a lunch portion.
  • Don’t eat your money’s worth (you may pay for it later in added pounds). Instead, enjoy the atmosphere, scenery, and your travel companions.

Stay Active:

  • Plan walking (sight-seeing), swim laps, or some time in the gym at the hotel every day.
    • Staying with friends or family?  Ask about local parks, bike paths, or fitness equipment they may have.  Plan outings in the great outdoors—hiking, biking, swimming, or walking are all great ways to stay active.
  • Make wise choices as some foods will take a lot of activity to work off. Determine which choices are worth indulging in and which to skip.


Lastly, be accountable: Plan on checking in with your scale before and after vacation to help keep you on a healthy-eating path!

Learn more about:
Diabetes Care & Education Endocrinology
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