Staying healthy while on vacation can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be! A few weeks ago, we went on vacation to the Dominican Republic and stayed at an all-inclusive resort. When you stay at an all-inclusive, all of your food and drinks are included in the price you pay. That can be dangerous if you’re trying to stay on track! The buffets are filled with tables and tables of food. The food options are not always healthy- many things are fried or in creamy sauces. There is a whole section of the buffet filled with desserts. Alcoholic drinks are available to you at all hours- and the best ones are frozen tropical drinks that are high in calories. Here are my tips for staying healthy on vacation, but treating yourself at the same time. (ps. please excuse the photo quality–all of these pictures were taking with my iPhone).
- Fill your plate with MOSTLY healthy options: the majority of your plate should contain vegetables and fruit. This is a general rule for any meal, and it definitely still applies while on vacation. The more you fill up with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, the less room you have for the unhealthy options and the less you crave them.
- Limit your drinks to the evening: It’s easy to drink all day while at an all-inclusive, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Make sure you are hydrating with water throughout the day and make it a rule to not have drinks before 4pm. In Punta Cana, when I was in the mood for a tropical drink, I usually had it by the beach or pool no earlier than 4pm. Then I had a glass of wine (or 2) with dinner. This is one of the most important tips for staying healthy on vacation because those (delicious) tropical drinks are usually loaded with sugar and the calories can really add up quickly if you’re not careful.
- Stay active every day: You’re in a beautiful place! Go for a run on the beach (if that’s safe to do), walk around the resort, or swim in the ocean! Most all-inclusive resorts include non-motorized water sports in the price of the hotel, so hop in a kayak and get rowing. I utilized our hotel gym in the awkward time between being on the beach and getting ready for dinner. Dinner is usually later on in the evening, so around 5 or 6pm is the perfect time to head to the gym. You’ve already gotten in enough pool/beach time and you need to shower before heading to dinner anyway, so you might as well go and break a sweat at the gym!
- Treat yourself to the things you want the most: you are on vacation after all! Just remember to practice some self-control and go for the things you REALLY want (like an extra Coco Loco by the pool or the soft-serve ice cream after dinner), but not everything you see. Letting yourself have some of the things you really want is definitely part of staying healthy on vacation (and HAPPY).
- Have EXACTLY what you want on your last day. The buffet at our resort had delicious sugar donuts every day during breakfast. Donuts are my holy grail. I promised myself at the beginning of our trip that I would eat a donut on our last day. I definitely couldn’t have one every morning. Having it on my last day meant that I deny myself what I really wanted and I didn’t feel any guilt because I didn’t over-eat junk food.
Follow these guidelines for a happy and healthy vacation! But remember, they are just guidelines and not hard and fast rules. There are always exceptions and you have to find what works best for you. These are the things I did during my vacation to look and feel my best. Comment below if you have any additional tips or tricks that you use to stay healthy on vacation!