You’ve almost hit the end of the countdown until spring break. You’ve worked out, eaten healthy, may have lost some weight, and are ready to wear your shorts and tank top. You have put so much effort into making healthy lifestyle changes for vacation, are you going to let them all go to the wayside when on vacation? You don’t want to end up coming home feeling bloated, exhausted and just plain worn out; after all this was a vacation! Don’t worry, we have tips to stay slim and healthy on spring break this year.
1. Stay hydrated. Sip plenty of water or calorie-free beverages throughout the day. This can help control hunger and regulate body temperature. Take a reusable water bottle on vacation to keep on- or near you at all times to remind you to stay hydrated.
2. Pack healthy snacks for the plane or car ride. Examples include granola bars, trail mix, string cheese, fruit leather, nuts, apples, oatmeal, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If for some reason you do end up going a long time without being able to eat, have one of these healthy snacks to avoid overeating at your next meal.
3. Choose healthy options at restaurants. Look for descriptive words such as: baked, broiled, grilled, or steamed. Add fruit or vegetables as a side dish instead of French fries or potato chips. Avoid dishes with cream or cheese sauces and ask for dressing on the side. And most importantly, don’t forget to try something new while on vacation!
4. Watch portion sizes. Chances are you will likely end up eating out but that doesn’t mean it has to sabotage your diet. Split portion sizes with family or friends or take half back to the hotel for later. Have a child-sized portion which is more appropriate to what actual portion sizes should be.
5. Stay at a hotel or rental vacation home that has a fully stocked kitchen available for use. This way you can save money and calories by making a few easy meals for yourself. Once you get to your destination, find a local grocery store that would have some healthy options to purchase or prepare.
6. Find creative ways to fit in exercise. Go for a hike, ride a bike, rent a canoe or kayak, do aqua exercises, play volleyball, go swimming, play tennis. The possibilities are endless!
7. Find alcoholic drinks that are lower in calories. Alcohol is almost as dense as fat at seven calories/gram which means it can add up quickly. Mix drinks with diet soda, water, or a zero-calorie electrolyte drink to help hydrate and cut back on calories.
8. Don’t forget to catch enough ZZZ’s. Sleep helps regulate hormone levels, promotes brain development, and recharges our bodies. Try to get at least eight hours a day but if you can’t, it might not hurt to take a nap on the beach!
There are plenty of ways to stay slim on spring break if you put in a little extra effort. Here is a spring break-friendly recipe you can prepare and pack ahead of time to take with from myrecipes.com.
Sweet Chipotle Snack Mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 large egg white
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup unsalted pumpkinseed kernels
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
3. Place egg white in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until foamy. Add the almonds, cashews, and pumpkinseeds; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with spice mixture; toss well to coat. Spread nuts in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes, stirring once. Turn oven off. Remove pan from oven; stir snack mix. Immediately return pan to oven for an additional 15 minutes (leave oven off). Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack; cool completely. Store snack mix in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional Information: 130 calories, 9.7 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 4.5 g protein, 7.3 g carbohydrate, 1.1 g fiber, 175 mg sodium.