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Joy Bauer's foolproof plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle on vacation

Heading out of town this summer? Here are a few tips to help you stay on track.
/ Source: TODAY

When you're on vacation, there is only one way to start the day: Rise and sweat. A quick morning exercise session sets the tone for a healthy day. And you don’t have to just hit the hotel gym. Instead, take advantage of your unique surroundings and find vacation-like ways to move. For example, walk around the town for an hour and explore new streets, shops and cafes. Or, take a jog on the beach, swim laps in the pool, or sign up for a morning snorkeling class or yoga on the beach.

Remember, it’s not where you eat, it’s what you eat. And you can find something healthy (or healthy-ish) at any location. Here’s a guideline to follow:


  • Egg white omelet with vegetables and fresh fruit.


  • Salad with grilled chicken or fish (dressing on the side and go easy) OR
  • Turkey sandwich piled with lettuce, tomato, pickles (for condiments, spread mustard or a thin layer of ketchup, BBQ sauce or mayo on one slice of bread). If you’re feeling extra motivated, lose the top bread slice. If your only options are larger rolls, scoop out some of the middle dough.


  • Grilled, baked or broiled fish, chicken or lean steak (request no butter). Double up on side veggies (steamed, roasted or sautéed veggies — anything goes!) and skip the side starch, such as pasta, rice or potatoes. Try to avoid pasta entrées.


  • Fresh fruit (with optional squirt of whipped cream).
  • Close out the meal with a flavorful cup of tea.


  • Fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and light popcorn.

Lighter cocktails:

  • Glass of wine or champagne.
  • Light beer.
  • Club soda with a shot of vodka or tequila and a splash of fruit juice.

Enjoy a daily splurge: Vacationing is about exploring a new place, trying new things, and taking in the atmosphere. You can (and should) let yourself enjoy one "cheat" food each day. Be strategic and pick something that is unique to the area you are visiting. Maine Lobster with butter? Key lime pie? Boardwalk taffy or soft serve ice cream? Famed hotel fries? Whatever you choose, keep the portion relatively controlled, and eat slowly so you can enjoy every delicious bite and truly savor the flavor.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! With warm temperatures and fun summer activities that bring on the sweat, staying hydrated is more important than ever. But, how much do you need? Divide your weight in half and that’s about how many ounces of fluids you need in a given day. If you’re an avid exerciser, spending long periods of time outside, frequently take airplane rides, or live in a dry climate, you may need more. Pick up a reusable water bottle and fill it with cold water first thing in the a.m. Strive to drink and refill the bottle at least a few times a day.

Plan ahead. When planning a vacation, build fun outdoor activities into your itinerary and research the food and restaurants. It’s amazing how many exciting things you’ll discover and you’ll be better organized and prepared to stay on your health course.

If you're not going anywhere this summer, bring some vacation vibes into the kitchen with my one sheet jambalaya with shrimp and sausage recipe! And remember to tune in each week for more Beach Busters advice.