Paleo, Keto, Atkins, Weight Watchers, The Zone, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw Food, Pescatarian…..if you follow any type of restrictive diet these days you likely think “how will I ever stick to this on vacation?“.
While it’s true that all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico offer [sometimes numerous] choices of dining venues and bars around every corner (leaving you tempted by the unlimited supply of food and drinks), it’s easy to focus on those healthier options and still be very happy and satisfied by the variety and quality of the cuisine.
If you’re eating Paleo, you can go to the resort’s steakhouse or seafood restaurant, for example, and request a grilled or steamed preparation to stay Paleo-friendly. If you prefer vegan or pescatarian options, you’re covered, too. With the number of dining venues available at all-inclusive resorts you’re apt to find what you need and what you enjoy with very little modification.
For anyone on the Keto/low carb program you may need to ask how different items are prepared and you may want to bring a journal so you can keep track of your net carbs if you want to follow your program more closely. Vegetables, leafy greens, lean proteins and dairy products are readily available at the resort’s buffet and other dining venues. If you’re looking for snacks, like nuts and seeds, you may want to consider bringing them with you. Being prepared is always key to weight loss success whether you’re traveling or at home.
It is possible to stay on track and obtain satiety with this strategy and these healthy tips.
One plate rule:When on the buffet line while traveling or at an event, I use one dinner plate for my complete meal (including salad and a dessert) and choose what I love. This ‘rule’ gives you the opportunity to choose your favorites but not give in to overeating. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
Healthy tip: Are you looking for something that isn’t on the menu that fits your dietary needs? Are you reducing your salt intake and want to know what’s in the fish dish? Ask. The resort staff is there for you.
Eat your colors:When traveling to the islands and Mexico seek out colorful local produce. Try something exotic, eat a papaya, whole fruits, leafy green salads, veggie snacks.
Satiety is key: If you’re hitting the buffet for lunch, enjoy the fresh veggies and some fruit and lean proteins. Enjoy the local seafood and fare of the area. In Mexico? Avoid the rice, beans and tortillas. Not sure about the calories in the salad dressing? Ask, or choose vinegar or a lemon wedge. And what about snacks? An all-inclusive resort will have food available during the day so consider veggie snacks, whole fruits, nuts, and plenty of water to help you avoid overeating at dinner time. Splurge on only one of the tiny-but-enticing dessert features like the chocolate dessert or brie, for example, per day.
Healthy tip: Practice mindful eating. Consider an orange, as an example. Take in the scent of the orange as you begin to peel it. Take notice. Slow down. Taste your food. Savor each bite. Mindful eating is a key component of weight loss.
Limit the unlimited:For Caribbean and Mexico all-inclusive resorts the calories from alcoholic drinks can add up due to the sugar content, especially if they’re the creamy and fruity drinks. Opt for light beers or vodka & club soda with a lime twist and consider one of the umbrella drinks for one of your splurges. Ask for the “skinny” version of cocktails, most bartenders know how to reduce calories without sacrificing the taste. Drink sparkling water with a lemon or lime wedge in between alcoholic drinks. If you prefer wine, consider wine with dinner as the options are usually better.
Healthy tip: Drink plenty of water and consider bringing your own eco-friendly water bottle. Water helps to remove toxins and keeps your body healthy and hydrated throughout the day.
Move your Body:Resorts offer fitness centers and most are state-of-the-art, however, if you’re at a beach resort you have many more choices to get your exercise in (and it won’t feel like exercise!). Whether you choose to use the resort’s fitness center, take a walk on the beach, swim some laps, or take advantage of other activities, the key is to move your body and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle.
Healthy tip: Resorts offer a number of activities during the day like yoga on the beach, Zumba, water aerobics, Latin Dancing and much more. Engage in something new and you’ll have some fun while moving your booty!
Consider a Wellness-Focused All Inclusive
Some all-inclusive resorts offer a focus on wellness, nutrition and weight loss, with specific programs and opportunities to help you stay on your plan of a healthier life.
All-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean with wellness and/or weight loss programs include:
- Check PricesRancho La Puerta – Not a beach-side resort, but definitely the place to go when you’re more serious about health and weight-loss than the typical vacation delivers – note that Rancho does not include nor serve alcohol, but wine can be purchase with meals if desired.
- Check PricesZoetry not fully adults-only but not exactly family-friendly (Zoetry allows children but does not have any amenities or activities for kids), the Zoetry brand does feature a focus on wellness and healthy eating.
- Check PricesLe Blanc Spa Cancun or Check PricesLe Blanc Spa Los Cabos – both feature numerous health/wellness activities and programs, and very healthy cuisine, but with a quieter, more zen-like resort atmosphere.
- Check PricesThe Body Holiday – Located on beautiful St. Lucia, this health-and-wellness focused resort will help you jumpstart your way to better habits and send you home with a plan you can actually follow.
Additionally, Check PricesCouples Swept Away gets a special mention due to their truly ginormous fitness center and tennis complex, along with an extensive lineup of sports and activity programs.
Now that you know….
There are ways to eat healthy, move your body and enjoy your all-inclusive holiday without losing momentum on your weight loss journey. Prepare, create your strategy and enjoy your vacation…guilt free! So go ahead and relax at the pool. Try new activities. This is your unstructured time to reconnect with yourself, have some fun and do what brings you joy.