One of the hardest parts about a Walt Disney World vacation is the fact that there are so many delicious food choices. Many of the restaurants hire world class chefs, and the restaurants have dishes that you probably can’t find back home. It is tempting to go off of your diet for a few days because, after all, you’re on vacation. The problem is that calories still count while you’re in Central Florida. The good news is that Disney makes it easy to find healthy foods that are delicious and won’t pack on the extra pounds. Here are a few tips that will help keep you from gaining weight and killing your progress while at Walt Disney World.
10. Choose Healthy Snacks
There are abundant healthy options at snack kiosks and quick service restaurants in all four theme parks. You can find cold cut fruit, whole fruit, carrots or celery with a dip, hummus, and other healthy snacks. There are even sweet options that you might want to try. One half cup of Dole Whip has only 80 calories. Of course a serving of Dole Whip is more than half a cup, so order one and split it with a calorie-conscious friend. You can even enjoy a Mickey bar without blowing your diet. Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Sandwich has 280 calories and Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar has 330. Save the Mickey Ice Cream until the last day of your vacation so that you’ll have it to look forward to.
9. Order Without the Sides
Many of the quick service restaurants have sandwiches, wraps, and burgers that come with a side. It is usually not listed on the menu board that you can order your meal without the side, but you can. Skipping the fries will save you a lot of fat and calories. You’ll save money as well, the cost of each side is higher than you might think.
8. Time Your Meals
The timing of your meals can go a long way in making sure that you don’t blow your diet. Plan for a late breakfast and an early dinner. Then have a healthy snack in the evening so that you won’t go to bed hungry. If you eat at meal hours that are not traditional, the restaurants will be a little less crowded as well.
7. Bring Your Own Food
Unlike many other theme parks, Walt Disney World does not frown upon you bringing in your own food. Pack up some healthy snacks or even a light meal and place the items in a small thermal lunchbox with an icepack. If you have something with you, hunger will not get the better of you, and you will be in control of the portion size.
The entrees at some of the Walt Disney World restaurants are huge. Plan on sharing your meal with someone else in your party. If there is no one who you can share with, eat until you are full and then throw the rest out. Don’t force yourself to finish something just because there is still food on your plate.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
While you’re in the parks, you should drink water because of the heat and humidity in Central Florida. You should also drink water with your meals. Soda, milkshakes, alcoholic beverages, and other choices are going to add on extra calories, and they won’t quench your thirst like plain water will. You don’t need to buy a bottle of water at a quick service restaurant, ask for a cup of ice water when you place your order.
4. Don’t Order the Extras
Appetizers are going to fill you up before your entree is served, so don’t even look at them on the menu. That way, you won’t be tempted. You should also make your mind up before you enter a restaurant to skip dessert. Don’t look at them on the menu, and turn your head if a server walks by with someone else’s dessert. Remind yourself that you’re going to reward yourself with a Mickey Ice Cream on the last day of your vacation. That will help you to avoid the temptation.
3. Ask Questions
Ask a lot of questions about any dish that you are thinking about ordering. Learn if it is baked or broiled; if it’s fried order something else. Learn if there is a sauce and if so what it’s made out of. Food service cast members know that there are guests who want to make healthy, low calorie choices, and they will help you to find something delicious that won’t blow your progress.
2. Skip the Buffets
Walt Disney World buffets are filled with temptations. They are also expensive, which makes many people overeat so that they can get their money’s worth. If you’re trying to limit the amount that you eat at each meal, it is wise to skip the buffets. If you do end up at one, remember that they are “all you care to eat”, not “all you can eat”. Resolve to go to the buffet only once. Look for the healthier items, such as salad without dressing and fruit. Don’t stuff yourself.
1. Continue to Exercise
Just because you are on vacation does not mean that you can skip your exercise routine. If your hotel has a fitness club, use it. If it doesn’t, plan to go for a walk or a jog each morning before leaving for the parks. If that doesn’t fit into your schedule, take an exercise break in the middle of the day. You can easily walk from Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the BoardWalk and the fitness trail in the area. Leave the Magic Kingdom and walk to the Contemporary. There’s another easy way that you can slip in some extra exercise without giving up vacation time. Skip the tram and walk to and from the park. Not only will you get some extra exercise in, walking is usually faster than the tram, so you’ll save time.