Vacation and Diets – Sticking to Your Diet During a Road Trip

If you’ve worked hard to lose weight, don’t let your next road trip get in the way. With some planning ahead and the right attitude, you can stave off the extra pounds and still enjoy your trip.

It all starts with having the right mindset. Many people think of vacations as their excuse to overeat and indulge in things they wouldn’t otherwise. This can add up to more than a few extra pounds at the end of your trip.

Cut yourself some slack, but don’t allow yourself to stray too far from your eating plan. Commit to eating right at least 80 percent of the time. That way, you can try new foods and let your hair down a little bit, without completely bankrupting your diet.

You can also overcome your desire to overeat by focusing on the experience and not the food. Indulge yourself in taking photographs, enjoying being with the people you are traveling with or just the experience of being out on the road.

Planning ahead can also help with staying on your diet. Never leave the house without snack foods and healthy alternatives! Taking food on vacation is not a sign of being controlling or not “living in the moment.” It’s a smart plan.

There are a lot of portable fruits and vegetables that you can eat in the car. You can also take along whole wheat crackers, pita chips or rice cakes. A small cooler can provide you with storage for low fat cheese, lean meats or hard boiled eggs.

Be sure to take along enough food in your car so you won’t be tempted to hit the drive through and eat unhealthy food. (This tip helps your pocketbook, too.) You’ll feel so much better when you arrive at your destination if you haven’t been noshing on fried chips and colas the whole way.

Don’t forget to take along bottles of water! It’s easy to get dehydrated, especially when you are on the road. You can often mistake thirst for hunger and eat more than you need to. Having a water bottle handy will remind you to drink lots of water and it can curb hunger before it starts.

When you stop to eat, try to find a sit-down restaurant. Order a salad or a grilled chicken entree for a combination of nutrition and low calories. Fill up on water or tea, and not high-calorie sodas. If you have to go to a drive through instead of a sit down restaurant, opt for a grilled chicken sandwich or a salad. Skip the fries and the other high fat side dishes.

Stop yourself from snacking too much in the car by wearing tight-fitting clothing. If you dress too comfortably, you won’t notice when you’ve eaten too much.

By wearing an outfit that shows off your shape, you will have a subtle reminder of why you’re trying so hard to stay on your diet. Little tricks like these will help you avoid gaining weight on your road trip.

Surfing and Beach Culture

Australia is the quintessential home of beach culture, with the nation’s beaches ranging from sweeping crescents with rolling waves to tiny, secluded coves. Almost all Australians live within a two-hour drive of the coast, and during the hot summers it is almost second nature to make for the water to cool off. The clichéd image of the sun-bronzed Australian is no longer the reality it once was, but popular beaches are still packed with tanned bodies basking on golden sands or frolicking in deep blue waves. Fines levied for inappropriate behaviour mean that the atmosphere is calm and safe at all times. Surfing has always been a national sport, with regular carnivals and competitions held on the coastline. There are also opportunities for beginners to try their hand at this daring sport.

Baked-brown bodies and sun-bleached hair were once the epitome of beach culture.

Surf carnivals attract thousands of spectators, who thrill to races, “iron man” competitions, dummy rescues and spectacular lifeboat displays.

Where To Surf

The best surfing to be found in Australia is on the New South Wales coast, the southern Queensland coast, especially the aptly named Surfer’s Paradise and the Sunshine Coast and the southern coastline of Western Australia. Tasmania also has some fine surfing beaches on its northwestern tip. Despite superb north Queensland beaches, the Great Barrier Reef stops the waves well before they reach the mainland. In summer, deadly marine stingers (jellyfish) here make surf swimming impossible in many areas, unless there is a stinger-proof enclosure.

Beach Activities

Australian beaches are not only the preserve of surfers. Winter temperatures are mild in most coastal areas, so many beach activities are enjoyed all year. Weekends see thousands of pleasure boats, from small runabouts to luxury yachts, competing in races or just out for a picnic in some sheltered cove. The sails of windsurfers create swirls of colour on gusty days. Kite-flying has become an art form, with the Festival of the Winds a September highlight at Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

Beach volleyball, once a knockabout game, is now an Olympic sport.

Surf lifesaving is an integral part of the Australian beach scene. Trained volunteer lifesavers, easily recognized by their red and yellow swimming caps, ensure that swimmers stay within flag-defined safe areas and are ready to spring into action if someone is in trouble.

Takeaway snack food at the beach is an Australian tradition, since many sun lovers spend entire days by the ocean. Fish and chips, kebabs and burgers are on sale at beach cafés.

The Australian crawl revolutionized swimming throughout the world in the 1880s. For most Australians, swimming is an everyday sport, learned at a very early age.


Beaches are safe provided you follow a few guidelines:

• Always swim “between the flags”.

• Don’t swim alone.

• Note signs warning of strong currents, blue bottles or stingers.

• If you get into difficulty, do not wave but signal for help by raising one arm straight in the air.

• Use Factor 30+ sunscreen and wear a shirt and hat.