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Staying fit on vacation

Aulani building in the background, beach and ocean in the foreground

Healthy Vacationing in Hawaii – How I do Gourmet Done Skinny in Hawaii

Staying fit on vacation? Sometimes people think I’m crazy for even talking about healthy vacationing. For many people vacation is a time to go crazy – eat and drink whatever you want, relax on the beach and do nothing. However my husband and I have learned over the years that if we do this, we feel sluggish, lazy, stuffed and generally not good. It causes stomach issues, sleep issues and we wonder why the heck we ate all of that and then lounged around.

Now that my husband and I have lost weight, we like being active and feeling healthy. It’s also much easier to get back on track when you get home if you haven’t fallen prey to all of your old cravings. That being said, we still indulge on vacation as we do love to eat. Being on vacation doesn’t mean we’re not eating good food. We just now have a routine and plan when we go on vacation so that we don’t go overboard. Despite all the good food it is possible to stay fit on vacation in Hawaii without gaining a ton of weight. Here are some of my tips and tricks to not gain weight while on vacation.

First stop after arriving at the airport: Costco!

Yes really! People think we’re nuts but since we have a full kitchen at Aulani, we stock up on a few cases of water, breakfast food and lunch items. Then we eat out for dinner. It saves quite a bit of money plus a lot of calories!!! We save our calories for dinner out at a nice place.

Sometimes we’ll also stop by a local farmer’s market stand to pick up some fresh vegetables. Last year when I did this, I went a bit crazy though and bought too much for the week. Whoops!

Next stop: Aulani!

We love Aulani! We bought our first timeshare with Disney back in 2004 in Orlando. When they built Aulani in Hawaii, we knew we wanted this one too as our home resort. One of the best things about having a timeshare with Disney is that we have access to a full kitchen. I usually bring along a few necessities such as my electric tea kettle (paid link) and tea, my own knife and garlic rocker (paid link) but they have a pretty good supply of kitchen equipment including a rice cooker.

Our daily routine:

3 Mile Walk and Breakfast

My husband and I have it down to a science. We love to get up early so we go for a 3 mile walk in the morning around the resorts and the beach. After the walk, we come back and make breakfast. Breakfast usually consists of my Chipotle Egg Cups or a skillet scramble made with lots of veggies, bacon bits and a small amount of cheese, coffee for my husband and tea for me. We always buy fresh pineapple and mango slices to eat alongside our breakfast.

Pack a lunch and snacks

After breakfast, I get our lunch wraps ready and then we head out for a hike. For lunch I usually make us wraps such as my Thai Chicken Wraps (I buy pre-cooked chicken from Costco) or my Buffalo Chicken Wraps. We pack carrot “chips,” and bananas for snacks. I put them all into a lunch pack (paid link) and have a separate lunch pack (paid link) for water bottles.

Our hikes:

My husband and I love to hike. We typically choose moderate rated hikes (I don’t like to kill myself, otherwise I end up at the spa the next day needing a massage). Many of our hikes we find on the All Trails App. I bring along my hiking stick (paid link) since my balance still isn’t the greatest after my stroke a few years ago. We usually stick to 1-3 hour hikes.


After the hike, it’s relaxation time at the resort, a swim, and a shower and then out for a nice dinner somewhere. With the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival this time, our normal routine fit nicely into the plans. We came back from the hikes a bit early so we could get ready for the events.

For dinner, I am realistic about eating healthy, as I am on vacation. I choose items which I really want to eat, ones I don’t eat at home and if they aren’t super healthy, then I eat only a portion of them. I typically don’t get dessert but only because I’m not a huge dessert fan. (I think it’s from all of those years making desserts at the tea room).

My top seven tips to staying fit on vacation in Hawaii:

  1. Stay hydrated, drink lots of water. Luckily almost every state beach has a restroom.
  2. Get your steps in. Choose the stairs at the hotel instead of the elevator when possible. Go for a hike.
  3. Make your own breakfast and lunch if possible. (I realize this requires a room with a kitchen, but if you can get one, this is really the key to success). Otherwise, try to choose healthy breakfasts and lunches if eating out.
  4. Try to get your veggies in, they help you stay full. If you do eat out for lunch order veggies with your meal.
  5. Get your fill of seafood. Hawaii is known for its great seafood. Luckily this is a healthier option than beef, chicken or pork.
  6. Avoid the buffets. Buffets always get you into trouble and are never a good idea if you’re trying to stay fit on vacation.
  7. Get right back on track as soon as you get home! You’ll be amazed how the pounds will fall off (if you gained) if you get back to eating healthy the minute you get home. Don’t wait!

It’s all a matter of balance

Because I’m a foodie, I do love to eat different and interesting dishes especially while on vacation. But by limiting it mostly to dinner time and getting plenty of activity in, that helps me to stay fit on vacation. I still may come home up a few pounds but at least I didn’t go crazy and have a ton of weight to lose when I get back home.

All of these opinions are my own. With the exception of the Amazon affiliate links, I am not compensated in any way from Disney or any other entity.

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