[See: 6 'Bad' Foods That Really Aren't.]
Although cruises can seem like the most diet-challenging of all vacations, they're among the easiest vacations to manage, Canfield says. "If you truly want to do well on a cruise, you can do beautifully," she says. "Twenty-four hours a day there's food out, but there's also beautiful fruit buffets and salad buffets, so it's easy to make those choices if you want to do that." She also notes that cruises have plenty of physical activities available to help passengers stay on course.
When faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet, or any diet challenge, Politi says to follow the government's MyPlate recommendations, in which half a meal plate is comprised of fruits and vegetables, and the rest is split between grains and protein. "Anytime that you have a generous portion of vegetables and fruit, you know that you're not going to eat a high-calorie meal."
Wherever you go ...
Treat yourself to the local produce, says wellness coach and registered dietitian Julie Schwartz, founder and principal owner of NutriWell Coaching & Yoga in Johns Creek, Ga. "It sure tastes different when it comes fresh picked or fresh harvested versus picked and transported to our local grocery store." Schwartz says local tourism boards and chambers of commerce can be a resource for learning about area festivals and specialty foods.
And don't forget about the local supermarket, says Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst also known as "Supermarket Guru." "If you're traveling, and if you've got a family and you want to experience for a week or two that local culture, the supermarket remains at the center of community," Lempert says. Check out the prepared foods to discover local dishes, ask for a store tour, noting that you're new to the area, and inquire if a registered dietitian is on staff who can make healthy suggestions.
Finally, eating well has a lot to do with attitude. Commit to your good health, experts say, and the rest should fall into place. As you explore the local cuisine, enjoy making food part – not all – of the adventure!
[See: Meet the Supermarket Dietitian.]