6. Two Appetizers Are Better Than One
Just like at home, it's good to stop eating a couple hours before bedtime so that your body isn't up all night digesting a hearty meal. Additionally, it may be easier to get a reservation at your preferred spot if you eat at off-peak hours. Of course, eating late can't always be avoided. If that's the case, skip your main course and opt for a second, appetizer-size portion instead. Also, consider sharing a bunch of appetizers around the table so that you get to sample a maximum number of dishes without eating a huge meal. The uniqueness of flavors and settings offered when you're on vacation can make smaller portions more satisfying than usual.
7. Eat Carbs Early
As I mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of sampling local specialties, even if that means eating something I'd try to avoid at home like a simple carbohydrate-laden special pastry or a unique kind of bread, pasta, rice dish. Complex carbs are preferable, of course, for their fiber and protein content.
To minimize the weight gain from simple carbs, try to eat them earlier in the day. This gives your body a chance to use up the sugar (calories) they offer up to your blood stream so readily. Unless it's unavoidable (e.g., made fresh on the premises by a master baker), try to skip bread and other simple carbs at dinner and then enjoy your pastry again in the morning, guilt-free!
8. Take in the Sights
One of my favorite ways to explore and experience a new place is to check out the farmers' markets. You really get a sense for the vibrancy of a place and get to see what the locals eat. Moreover, you might get an opportunity to visit a farm and see the whole thing for yourself. Make your eating an adventure, whether it's picking your own peaches or catching your own fresh fish, and you can fit eating healthy food and daily exercise into one activity.
9. Pack Comfortable Shoes
If you're staying in a place where you could walk to see the sights or get to the town center, take in the sights on a power walk. There's no easier exercise than the kind you don't even know you're doing, so distract yourself with an adventure while you burn the calories from your scrumptious, extravagant meals. You never know the kind of hidden gems familiar vacation spots can reveal when you try a new path.
You're supposed to be on vacation, after all. Leave some time for R&R so that, when you arrive home tan and svelte, you're ready to hop back into life full-speed.
What are your stay-healthy secrets when you vacation? Share your comments below.
Daphne Oz is the author of the national best-seller The Dorm Room Diet—now available in paperback—and The Dorm Room Diet Planner and creator of the Dorm Room Diet Workout DVD.
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