Archives for posts with tag: #calories

Summer is finally here! You know what that means? It’s time for vacation! But before you go have you thought about what you’re going to eat? Cole Millen an avid traveler himself sent me an email earlier this week expressing his desire to share some tips on how to eat healthy while on vacation. Here are a few pointers to help keep the weight off as you enjoy your travels. Enjoy!

Healthy Eating for Travelers

If you’ve lost weight for an upcoming vacation, you’re ready for some fun in the sun. Now you should be asking yourself how you can keep the weight off while you’re on your trip. Add to your itinerary some tips for healthy eating to ensure that you keep off the pounds you worked so hard to lose.

Creating a Plan

nutrition apple

Eating healthy on vacation is much easier if you create a plan. Before you leave for your trip, pack a few healthy snacks and an empty water bottle to remind you to drink water throughout your time there. Upon checking in to the hotel, let the front desk know you won’t need the key to the minibar (this will prevent you from giving in to those sudden cravings). After check-in, investigate the food choices in the area so you’ll know what your options are. If there seem to be no good places, decide what you’ll do. Will you purchase groceries and prepare your own food? Will you call room service for daily meals? Regardless the option you choose, make sure to consider all necessary requests to ensure a healthy meal.

Healthy Preparation

Picking the right hotel can be the most important part of staying healthy on vacation. After all, it is your home for the time being. Doing a little research can go a long way. In my experience, reviews from other travelers provide the best forms of information. I recently took a trip out west and found a great site that listed Las Vegas hotels along with all the amenities and offerings. With the help of these great reviews I was able to find a hotel with a list of amenities as well as a gluten free restaurant in the lobby! As you plan your trip, look for a hotel that has on-site fitness equipment or that is near a park. This makes it easier to get exercise while you are away. Most hotel restaurants offer their menu for viewing online. Check out the menu to see if healthy food choices are offered. Most upscale hotels understand that many travelers want to stay on their diet and fitness program while traveling. These hotels will most likely have healthy options.

Healthy Options

Keep your eyes peeled for pretzels, fruits, vegetables and water. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so to prevent overeating, take advantage of continental breakfast if it’s offered at your hotel. Fruit, low-fat yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and oatmeal are heart-healthy breakfast choices. Whole grain is a smart choice if it’s available. For lunch and dinner, look for healthy choices whether and try to stay away from fast food restaurants and move to sit-down establishments. Salads, grilled chicken with rice and steamed vegetables are all healthy options.

Eating at Restaurants

Figuring out what’s healthy and what’s not can be a challenge. Look for items that are low-fat and high in nutrients. Paying attention to menu watch words can save you hundreds of calories. If an entrée such as chicken or fish is described as creamy, crunchy, fried, loaded, smothered or stuffed, it is likely to contain ingredients such as butter or other sauces that add lots of calories. One strategy vacationers may wish to employ is to determine where they will eat before going on vacation. By finding menus online and determining what you will order, you can help yourself avoid the temptation of eating too much while dining out. This help was the difference maker in my healthy week and allowed me to find places that were both nutritious and delicious. Eating at restaurants is important while on vacation, and it is possible to enjoy delicious meals without eating too many calories.

-Cole Millen

photo (19)


photo (20)


Last week I had the opportunity to teach a high school class about proper serving sizes.  It was interesting how many students didn’t know how to properly read a food label. If you can’t read the food label on the item you are eating how are you supposed to know how much to eat?

“Untrained eyes” as I call them always look at the calories first. When you are reading a food label you should be looking at the serving size first and then the calories. If a bag of chips says 250 calories and contains 2 servings, most assume the whole bag is worth 250 calories. The reality is if you ate the whole bag you’d have to double everything on the label. If you were to eat the whole bag you are now getting 500 calories. It’s important you measure out your food so you don’t over eat. Remember a calorie is a calorie whether it’s good or bad!

Is there a difference between serving size and portion size? The answer to that question is yes! Portion size is how much you decide to eat whereas serving size is what is recommended on the label.  34% of American’s do not know how to read the food label due to lack of knowledge.  80% find serving size labeling to be the most confusing. (Sagon, C. 2010)

To help my students understand the food label I broke it down for them using a food label provided by the USDA on the white board. The picture shown below was beneficial and helped the students get an idea of where to start first.

breakdown of food label


  1. Read the serving size.
  2. Look at the amount of calories per serving size.
  3. Limit these! Total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium all increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, cancers, and heart disease!
  4. More of these! Most American’s are not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These are important for a well-balanced diet and good health.
  5. Footnote. It’s always the same and doesn’t vary from product to product. What its showing you is the breakdown of a 2,000 calorie diet and a 2,500 calorie diet.


My main message with this lesson plan is that certain diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, stroke, ect are preventable by not over eating and watching what you eat. Diet is everything. What you put into your body and how much of what you put in your body makes a difference.