How to avoid weight gain while on vacation

Dietician offers nutritional advice

Traveling is something many look forward to during the summer months. However, it can be easy to let your eating habits slip and choose convenient, unhealthy options while on the road or in the airport — leading to vacation weight gain.

“It is very easy to gain weight during travel,” said Hope Theiss, licensed and registered dietitian with Norton Weight Management Services. “During trips, you are off your normal routine, and that is why it is critical to stick to healthy foods. Your body will thank you.”

Here are a few tips to consider the next time you hit the road.


Eat breakfast foods that are high in protein to help you feel full until lunch. A good option is eggs or a lean meat such as turkey bacon, which will give you energy and keep you satisfied. If you prefer a healthy carb boost, have a cup of fruit and oatmeal. This is an excellent choice for the first meal of the day.


While it may seem tempting to overindulge on heavy and greasy food for lunch, don’t give into your cravings. Avoid starchy, greasy foods that are high in carbohydrates. These will leave you feeling sluggish, and you’ll need energy to tackle your vacation agenda.

Lettuce wraps are an excellent on-the-go option. Or consider packing healthy foods from home if your options will be limited en route to your destination, or if where you will be staying has a refrigerator. Plus, this will save you money.


One excellent tool to help you stay on track with eating well is using a mobile app called “HealthyOut.” It allows you to set filters like “low calorie,” “high protein” or “vegetarian” and uses your location to find restaurants nearby that meet your criteria.

Still not sure what to eat? A grilled or baked protein item is ideal for dinner. A side of vegetables or a salad with dressing on the side are excellent options.

Healthy snacks

Bring healthy snacks from home. Consider packing nuts or making your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, light popcorn or salt-free pretzels. Apples, oranges and other fruit also are easily portable options.

Protein bars are a good snack option as well. Ideally, they should have less than 15 grams of carbohydrates in a serving.

Additional tips

  • Drink plenty of water to help with energy and digestion. Theiss recommends dividing your body weight by two and then drinking at least that many ounces of water every day.
  • Keep alcohol to a minimum. It has no nutritional benefits, can dehydrate you and affects proper sleep patterns.
  • Pack protein powder. It can be dissolved in milk or water and can replace a meal or serve as a large snack.

Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a happy and healthy vacation — without bringing home extra pounds as an unwanted souvenir.

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