updated 6/30/2005 6:26:37 PM ET 2005-06-30T22:26:37

Here are tips from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge for staying on the diet wagon while vacationing:

  1. Plan ahead. Check dining options on the road and at your destination. Skip hot dogs and pizza and look for fruit, soup and sandwiches. Enjoy local fresh specialties, farm stands.
  2. Understand the menu. Watch out for high-fat warnings, such as fried, buttery, au gratin, etouffé, sautéed, rich, creamy, and breaded. Ask about sauces, toppings, methods of preparation. Always choose grilled. Beware of the breadbasket.
  3. Think outside the box. Many fast food places have added healthy options and even offer fruit as a side dish.
  4. Watch portion sizes. Split entrees. Restaurant servings are typically far larger than recommended portion sizes.
  5. Be salad savvy. Some have more calories than a cheeseburger. Steer clear of cobb salads, Mediterranean salads and taco salads, or at least ask the waiter to hold the cheese, refried beans and other high-calorie items. Get dressing on the side and ask for light vinaigrette.
  6. Consider a condo or unit with kitchenette where you can store healthy snacks. Or bring a cooler for bottled water and low-fat dairy products.
  7. Watch the alcohol. Choose light beer or wine rather than hard liquor and sweetened drinks.
  8. Be aware of your emotional response. If you eat more than you plan, seeing it as a catastrophe will only set you up for failure. Get back on track at your next meal, and try for extra activity.
  9. Plan pleasures other than food or drink — including physical activity. Park farther away, and walk when sightseeing.
  10. Hold a family meeting ahead of time and discuss ways you can help each other eat less and stay active.

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