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9 Ways to Take Your Diet on Vacation

Food and travel don't have to add up to diet disaster.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 3: Downsize Your Portions

It doesn't make sense to deprive yourself of enjoyable foods while you're on vacation. Instead, downsize your portions by ordering from the kids' or junior menu, or ordering an appetizer instead of an entree. You could also split an entree with your dining partner, or save half for another meal and stash it in the hotel refrigerator.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 4: Ask Your Waiter 4 Questions

1.       Ask how a dish is prepared and served. Then, you can request that your selection be prepared or served differently, if necessary. For example, meats that are fried can often be ordered grilled instead.

2.       Ask for sauces, gravies, and dressings to be served on the side so you can use a modest portion.

3.       Ask that your entree be served with fresh vegetables (no butter or sauce, please) or a side salad instead of the usual french fries.

4.       Request whole grains whenever possible. Some restaurants offer 100% whole-wheat bread and buns, whole-grain blend pasta, tortillas, and steamed brown rice.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 5: Order Fruits and Veggies Every Chance You Get

Look for opportunities to order dishes that include high-nutrient, high-fiber fruits and vegetables. Entree salads or side salads made with spinach or romaine lettuce are a fun way to get your vegetables. If you're ordering something like a shrimp or chicken quesadilla, you can ask the restaurant to add some grilled vegetables.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 6: Be Careful With Condiments

Consider this: Half of the fat grams in Arby's Southwest Chicken Wrap or Ultimate BLT Wrap come from the ranch sauce or mayonnaise.

Some types of condiments are super-high in calories and fat, especially creamy sauces and spreads like mayonnaise. Opt for condiments that contribute less than 25 calories per serving, like catsup, marinara, mustard, or BBQ sauce.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 7: Go Fishing in Restaurants

Make it a point to enjoy seafood when you eat out. It's a great way to get your weekly dose of fish and their heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But there is a catch -- avoid battered and fried fish dishes. Instead, look for grilled (and non-buttered) selections. If the fish dish comes with a sauce, just order it on the side.

Vacation Diet Tip No. 8: Beware of the Table Munchies

If you're famished when you sit down at the restaurant, those table munchies -- like bread, crackers, or chips -- will be looking really good. But these little bites can add hundreds and hundreds of calories, and fill you up before your meal ever arrives. So tell your server you don't want any or order a no-calorie beverage and a salad or healthy appetizer instead.

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