Advice for avoiding a spring break diet disaster

A vacation doesn't have to derail your healthy eating habits. Photo credit:

A vacation doesn’t have to derail healthy eating habits.
Photo credit:

It’s Spring Break season, and with so many folks hitting the beach, there’s no better time for some smart vacation eating tips from celebrity nutritionist and dietitian Lisa DeFazio.

Sure, you can hit the gym and watch what you eat before vacation, but when your flight is delayed or you’re faced with an all-you-can-eat (and drink) option at the hotel, temptation sets in. Here, Lisa tells us how to stay on track during that next trip without wasting your pre-vacation hard work.

Kinetic Fix: Lisa, I’m good all year ’round; won’t watching what I eat on vacation take all the fun out of my trip?

Lisa DeFazio: No! It’s not about watching what you eat the entire vacation, it is about choosing when to splurge and balancing daily food choices to help you look and feel your best! You also do not want to overeat every day consuming high fat, high sugar foods, as you will have less energy to enjoy the trip, not to mention you may not feel like wearing your bikini after a high fat high sodium meal!

KF: Ok, so say I’ve got an unexpected flight delay and will be stuck eating a meal the airport; what do I do?

LD: Many airports have better choices now, like sandwiches with fruit or a grilled chicken salad, but it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks in your carry-on to be sure you don’t end up with a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone during your flight delay. I recommend Special K Popcorn Chips [DeFazio has partnered with the brand to offer guilt-free snacking options] — with 120 calories per serving of 28 chips, this guilt-free snack is perfect to munch on at the gate.

KF: What’s the best approach if I’m on a cruise with that infamous all-you-can-eat buffet?

LD: First, look over the entire buffet to see what your choices are. Fill half your plate with salad, vegetables and fruit, choose lean grilled or baked chicken or fish, and rice pilaf or baked potato. Choose one splurge dish like mac and cheese or creamed spinach. Share dessert and drink water or diet soda.

KF: Easy enough. But what about the opposite – on a road trip – how can I eat healthy amid gas stations, convenience stores and diners?

LD: My gas station top picks are pretzels, yogurt, protein bars, vitamin water and nuts. At diners it’s a good idea to choose a turkey sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, turkey burger or veggie burger and ask for fruit instead of fries.

KF: And if I’m on a budget, can I still eat out and stay healthy without breaking the bank?

LD: Go online and search for coupons at your favorite restaurants, research restaurants near you that offer better choices and compare prices. It is easier now with menus, calories and prices all online! You may be surprised that many healthier restaurants are not as expensive as you think!

KF: But if I do happen to indulge (or imbibe!) a bit more than usual, can I minimize the damage?

LD: Yes, many people have one splurge meal or day per week but just be sure you get back on track the next day. On the days before and after a splurge load up on fruits, veggies and protein, include high fiber carbs like sweet potatoes or brown rice, drink plenty of water and exercise!

KF: Finally, any quick tips on how to ease back in to healthier habits when I get home?

When you get home go to the supermarket and stock your fridge with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, lean protein and better-for-you foods! Stock the pantry with smart snacks like Special K Popcorn Chips, which pair nicely with protein-packed hummus or zesty salsa. Walking and drinking plenty of water will get you back into your routine. Take it slow, and do what you can!

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