Family vacations, impromptu road trips, weekend getaways… There’s just something about summer that makes you want to throw your bags in the car and hit the road for a little rest and relaxation! Traveling often brings a sense of adventure, a ‘pick the road not taken’ kind of attitude, and can give you a sense of freedom not experienced during the monotony of daily life. But if we aren’t careful that relaxed attitude can wreak havoc on our waistlines. While we are making memories and reconnecting with family and friends during the lazy days of summer we often loosen the reigns on our normal eating patterns and end up having to loosen our belts as well! RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU Too easy to lose discipline So how do you continue to eat healthy while still enjoying all there is to enjoy when on vacation? All it takes is a little planning and you can enjoy your summer travels without stressing over trying to maintain a healthy diet. Try a few (or all!) of the following tips and you will not only have a wonderful time, but you won’t return home wondering where that extra five pounds came from. 1. Pack a cooler with healthy snacks and drinks – Whether you are planning a day trip or will be driving to your final destination, pack a travel cooler filled with your favorite healthy treats and drinks and avoid temptations along the way. Make sure that the snacks are easy to grab and eat, such as fruit slices, veggie sticks and nuts, as you will be more likely to eat them. Bring plenty of water or green tea so that you aren’t tempted to grab a soda while filling up for gas or swing through the drive through when your stomach starts to rumble. healthy eating while travelling_2 2. Research restaurants in the area and look over the menus before dining out – If you plan on dining out while traveling take some time before you leave to research the restaurants in the area and ensure that healthy meal options are available. Most restaurant menus are available online so take a look and decide what you will eat before getting to the restaurant. If you already know what you are going to order before you get there then you are less likely to let others poor food choices influence you when you order. Also make sure to watch how many alcoholic drinks you consume as those calories add up quickly and can turn an otherwise healthy meal into a calorie disaster. 3. Plan cheat treats – We all deserve a treat now and then but when traveling it is easy to let cheat meals become the norm rather than the exception. If you know that you are going to be in an area where your favorite guilty pleasure is found plan accordingly and make sure to eat healthy meals and snacks the rest of the day to make up for the indulgence. If you have been dreaming of that creamy slice of cheesecake for dessert make sure to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch and pick a low calorie entrée to offset the high calorie content of your treat. 4. Book a hotel room with a kitchenette – If you will be staying for an extended period of time at one location try to book a hotel room with a kitchenette so that you can prepare your own meals. This not only makes it easy to continue to eat healthy, but it also saves money. 5. Eat local – Stop at the local fruit and vegetable stand and pick up some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies to enjoy as a snack while you are sightseeing. If you are at the beach, ask the locals to point you in the direction of the best seafood restaurant. Swing by the local organic market and see what new food item catches your eye. Use that sense of freedom to try something that you would never try at home – you never know, you just might find a new favorite food! Eating healthy while you are exploring a new town doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful All it takes is a little planning and you won’t have to think twice about how to stick to your healthy eating habits when summer fun in the sun is calling! I’m always listening so if you need help, have questions or are looking for a personal trainer you can find me on my Expert Profile page. Happy, healthy living my friends!! Connect here with Watchfit Expert Pauline Shiver

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