One of the best ways to get to know a new place or country while on vacation is through its food. However, you’ll end up gaining weight on vacation if you turn your back on all healthy lifestyles and good habits.

If you’d like to keep fit while on vacation though and still enjoy some good grub, follow these tips:

1. Stay somewhere with a gym

If you stay at an all-inclusive resort, it’s likely there’s a gym where you can do your workouts. Boutique hotels or hostels won’t usually have one, so pack your running shoes and head outdoors. Just make sure you’re wearing reliable running shoes, especially if you’re in an environment you aren’t used to.

2. Go small(er)

Vacations are frequently about indulging and feasting. You can have your cake and eat it too by partaking in little portions. That way, you can still try bits of everything without overeating. As an alternative, remember that sharing is caring! Split your meal (and the calories) with your holiday buddy.

3. Pack a picnic

Packing lunch and some snacks in a cooler or lunch box to bring to the beach or an outside excursion will prevent you from eating fast food. Beach food always comprises of greasy French fries, hot dogs and the like. Being out all day can get tiring, so munch on some healthy alternatives. Load your cooler with sandwiches in addition to snacks like almonds, cut fruits or cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, low-fat cheese, trail mix and veggie sticks.

4. Book a room with a kitchenette

This is the best way to stick to your eating plan if you wish to avoid packing on the pounds while on vacation. When you book a room with a kitchenette, you’ll have absolute control and power over what you eat and how it’s cooked. For instance, you can prep smaller portions without wastage, or make meals that cater to your dietary requirements. Some destinations may not easily cater to these requirements, so a kitchenette may likely give you more food options than if you always dine out.

5. Control your alcohol consumption

Alcohol can easily push you over your daily calorie limit; particularly those super sweet (but oh-so delicious) cocktails. There are two ways to reduce your calorie count from alcohol. The first is to switch things up. Drinks such as wine, champagne and beers have a high caloric content (starting from 150 calories per glass). However, switching to spirits like vodka or gin cuts that by half, just stick to soda water or tonic for a mixer. Secondly, try only drinking after 5pm. That way, you’re limiting your intake to just the second half of the day.

6. Plan ahead

Are you eating out? Then plan what you desire to eat in advance by reading through the menu of the restaurant online. In doing so, you can plan the rest of the day’s meals and balance things out.

7. Workout early in the morning

It’s easy to get too lazy to workout on vacation, especially when you spend most of your time carried away by all the fun and excitement. We suggest kick-starting your day with a quick exercise, and just enjoying the rest of your day to make the most of your vacation.

8. Get an adequate amount of sleep

The importance of a good night’s rest cannot be overemphasised when you want to get fit and lose weight. Inadequate sleep will mess with your metabolism and even cause you to overeat. Getting enough shut eye sleep encourages you to workout and eat healthily.

9. Take it outdoors

Taking your exercise outdoors is the perfect way to enjoy your early morning run or walk. It is also the best way to follow a fasted cardio plan while taking in your holiday surroundings. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air peace in tranquility; there’s nothing like it. Use Google Maps to determine your running and walking itineraries.

10. Eat your breakfast

Set the pace for the rest of the day by practicing heedful eating and control in your first meal. Don’t ever go hungry in the mornings, that may make you want to overcompensate later on, but do go a bit lighter if you know your lunch is going to be a decadent one.

11. Take a fitcation

Though it may not seem like a holiday for some, fitcations are a growing trend and a lot of fun if you’re into working out and exercising. Arrange your vacation around a hiking trail that you’ve always wanted to discover or arrange a holiday around a half marathon you’ve been longing to run. Or if you’re into yoga, go on a week-long retreat.

That said, don’t forget that vacations are all about having fun. If you do gain a wee bit of weight while away, it’s cool. You can always lose it when you get home.

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