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Nutrition on Vacation


Written by: Michele Zandman - Frankel

Owner, Revolutionize Nutrition


Many clients stress the idea of staying on track with their nutrition while on vacation. In all honesty, the advice we have for each client is different based on their goals, how often they travel, the type of travel, their budget, and their preferences. For our lifestyle nutrition clients, most commonly we advise for them to "maintain" while they are on vacation, and avoid focusing on fat loss. They should enjoy their time away, and make healthy enough decisions to FEEL great through their trip. Personally, I enjoy new foods and become adventurous with cuisine and flavors. I want to feel nourished through out the day, have sustained energy levels, never over indulge to any point of discomfort, and stay active.

We know that the advice isn't "one size fits all", however here are some personal tips (that don't involve tracking) that work for me. Perhaps some of it can help you out too!

  1. Bonus Budget Tip: When booking a hotel, select one with breakfast included. Scope out their breakfast options via website images or Trip Advisor. This will provide healthy options without spending extra money.

  2. My vacations rarely involve sitting still on a beach. I enjoy partaking in adventurous excursions, activities, and hikes. If you have hikes or big excursions that require a lot of energy planned at the start of your day, eat a larger high protein and carb breakfast to hold you over until lunch. Most breakfast buffets will have eggs, hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, oatmeal and fresh fruit available. Grab an extra apple and banana for the road. Keeping that fresh fruit in your car or hotel room is great if you need a quick source of energy.

  3. Pack protein bars and quest chips for snacks on the road, hike or excursion. The Rev storefront is filled with my favorite travel and on the road snacks. I usually pack one protein bar and one bag of protein chips per day of travel. Sometimes I have left overs at the end of the trip that I can bring back home, but I would always rather have more packed with me and bring the extras home, than not have enough and run out.

  4. Bonus Budget Tip: Stop at a store for bread and cold cuts, or PB&J, and some fresh fruit for excursions. Pack some sandwich bags, utensils and napkins. Make your own sammies!

  5. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water; tap or bottled depending on where you are traveling. Bonus Budget Tip: If you are using bottled water, and you drink large quantities of water as I do, you can save money by stopping at a supermarket or convenience store and purchasing by the gallon and refilling a reusable water bottle, or purchase a case of water.

  6. Between my big breakfast, sandwich that I made, and snacks, I am usually well nourished until dinner. This is when I enjoy new fun foods in appropriate amounts. Most places I have traveled to are known for their fresh seafood. Fish, shrimp, lobster, and crab, are all excellent sources of protein. Sushi grade, or ceviche style is going to offer a low fat option. If it’s cooked, I recommend it not to be doused in oil or fried. Grilled, steamed, and seasoned are preferred nutritious cooking methods. Prioritize eating your protein source first. Then eat your sides. For dessert, sometimes I stick with some fresh fruit. Sometimes I indulge in a decadent cake, ice cream or baked good that the country, state or location is known for. Remember to listen to your hunger cues. Take your time eating. Drink water. You do not have to force yourself to eat everything on your plate as you fill up.

  7. If portions are large, consider splitting the meal or dessert with the person you are traveling with. Or, enjoy half of your meal and bring leftovers back to your hotel room. Overindulging can result in a stomach ache, and no one wants that to ruin a good time on vacation.

  8. Make sure your hotel room has a microwave and refrigerator so you can stock it with healthy snacks.

  9. Scope out the menu ahead of time and get an idea as to what delicious new dish you would like to try that evening.

  10. Eat what’s in season and what the country is known for. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes. That is a huge part of the fun of traveling to new places! Try something you can’t get back at home or that is hard to find or replicate.

  11. Eat mindfully and savor your food. Be present.

  12. I’m not a drinker, however I know many want to indulge while they are away. You are best off staying away from the high sugar, super fruity drinks. Stick with a wine spritzer, light beer, or liquor with seltzer and fresh fruit, or diet soda. This may also save you a hangover, or atleast provide less of a hangover 😂. Drink water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages.

  13. Stick to your regular eating schedule.

  14. Airport snacks: I pack my own protein bars, quest chips, fresh sliced veggies and fruits to both save money and provide convenience. If you don’t have them available to you, almost any airport has the following high protein snacks: Greek yogurt, protein bars, beef/turkey jerky, hardboiled eggs, turkey or lean meats sandwich, core power or other protein shakes. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration while traveling.

  15. Instead of overpriced, low quality airplane meals, pack your own. You CAN bring solids with you on the plane. Your own meal always tastes better than the food they provide on the plane anyway 😉

  16. Many clients we have worked with over the years have had access to a kitchen, or their hotel room was equipped with a full kitchen. In this case, they usually ventured out for a quick super market trip and prepped meals fresh in their kitchen. This is also a great option and also saves money!

If you would like to learn more about Revolutionize Nutrition, and the services we offer, contact us at revolutionizenj@gmail.com or 732-462-5326 to schedule your FREE consultation and Fit3D scan! If you have a vacation coming up, talk to us, and we can help you strategize a customized plan to stay on track while you travel. Like we said earlier, the advice we give is different person to person. Let's make sure we have the right game plan for YOU!




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