6 Healthy Vacation Tips

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6 Healthy Vacation Tips by Steph Beth Nickel

When on holidays do you 1) throw healthy eating and exercise to the wind or 2) seek to make wise choices without becoming obsessive?

If you prefer Option 2, read on. If you prefer Option 1, read on anyway. You just may find a few tips you can live with.

My hubby and I are heading out to Jasper, Alberta, on July 20. Because we’ve both changed our eating habits and our level of physical activity, Dave more so than me, we have lost weight—and don’t want to put much, if any, of it back on while we’re away.

Here are some ideas we plan to include. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to do the same.

  1. Walk whenever possible.

Before we were married, Dave worked out in Jasper for a couple of summers. He was always amazed when tourists complained that they only got three television stations. He couldn’t imagine travelling to the mountains and staying inside to watch TV.

  1. Check out the local gym.

Although the wildfires are not dangerously close to the Jasper townsite, the winds often blow the smoke in that direction. We could stay inside and watch the aforementioned TV or we could hit up the local gym. I’ve already checked it out online and discovered that the daily fee is only $13, and this includes their aquatic centre as well. We have our Plan B.

  1. Make wise food choices.

We’ve both gotten used to eating far less than was the norm. While hiking in the mountains—and even around the townsite—will require more energy than our day-to-day life, we don’t intend to eat excessively. But we do intend to eat food that will fuel our increased physical exertion.

  1. Stay someplace with a kitchen.

We are staying at Hummingbird Crossing. (Doesn’t it sound lovely?) We have a little kitchen and there’s no reason we can’t prepare one or two of our meals there each day. This will not only save us money but also remove the temptation to eat calorie-rich meals in a restaurant.

  1. Make healthier choices when eating out.

Making healthier choices doesn’t mean avoiding all the foods you love. If you always feel as if you’re denying yourself, you’ll come to resent the constant effort and / or give up altogether. Before Dave and I got serious about weight loss, we ate very few salads. That has changed. However, we do add our favourite meat for protein and texture. However, we eat far less of it, approximately 50 percent less, because it goes further when spread throughout a big plate of mixed veggies.

Here are a few other options: 1) choose lean meat; 2) order vegetables rather than fries as a side; 3) for the most part, choose water rather than calorie-rich pop or alcohol.

  1. Eat dessert.

Making healthier food choices doesn’t always mean avoiding dessert. Share that piece of cheesecake or triple chocolate layer cake. If you do, you cut the calories, carbs, and fat in half. Choose fruit-based desserts without a high sugar content.

And when it comes to dessert, remember that they often look better than they taste. I’ve found that to be the case on numerous occasions.

Enjoy your vacation—and seek to make healthy choices while away.


Make healthy part of your holiday. (tweet this)


Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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