Don't Leave Diet Out to Lunch on Vacation

Eating out is common while traveling, but it's important to make healthy choices

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MONDAY, May 26, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- Memorial Day marks the start of the summer holiday season, so it's a good time to remind you not to take a vacation from your diet, cautions Elizabeth Schaub, a dietitian at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, Texas.

Dining out is common when people are on holidays, so it's important to make healthy eating choices.

Schaub offers the following tips:

  • Order your meal from the appetizer menu, which offers healthier portion sizes.
  • Limit the amount of bread and chips you eat before a meal.
  • Examine the menu before you go out and decide ahead of time what you want. You're more likely to make healthier choices if you make a decision before you're hungry.
  • Select baked, broiled or grilled foods instead of fried or breaded.
  • Monitor your portions to keep track of how much you're eating. One ounce is about the size of four dice and three ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • Have your dressings, toppings and sauces served on the side. On your salad, choose vinaigrette-based salad dressing instead of creamy dressings.
  • Drink regular or low-calorie water, iced tea or black coffee rather than soft drinks, which are high in calories.
  • Instead of the high-carbohydrate continental breakfast, have nuts, fruits and yogurt.
  • Don't plan on losing weight while on vacation. Maintaining your weight is a more realistic goal.
  • If you have a treat, try to share it with other people. What you eat is often less of a problem than how much you eat.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about nutrition.

SOURCE: Baylor Health Care System, news release, May 2008


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