May 21, 2019 by Dr. Kyle Varner in Ketogenic Diet

Summer, your yearly escape from the polar vortex you call home. Whatever you name it, everyone has vacation on the mind this time of year.

Whether you plan to do a staycation or go to Ibiza, it doesn’t matter: For people who are serious about their health and weight, the vacation season causes a lot of anxiety.

Summer represents letting your hair down, drinking, and general indulgence. But how on earth are we supposed to reconcile this with a low-carb lifestyle?

Calorie-loaded drinks and junk food are everywhere, like vultures circling as you work on your tan.

But worry not, it’s perfectly feasible to stick to keto while you relax and enjoy yourself. It just comes down to planning ahead…

Scout your local area for keto options

I recently got back from Thailand, where I finished an epic fast. I wasn’t eating, but I did consume bone broth when I felt dehydrated.

I did some market research beforehand and found out where to get the good stuff. I was pleasantly surprised to discover there were a ton of restaurants which cater to keto types.

I almost kicked myself: I missed out on so many Eastern takes on my diet, all because I was doing the fast!

But it’s not just Thailand. When I visited Panama recently, not only were there restaurants that specialized in keto, they could even deliver it to your door.

This is convenient because of my hectic work schedule, but if you’re on vacation and feel indulgent, you may not even need to leave your hotel…

Simply Google “keto” + your city’s name and see your options.

Don’t play the hotel’s games

I get it. When you’re on vacation, you want to indulge in all of the short-term ‘pleasures’ you can find.

But this isn’t you. It’s you at your worst! You can enjoy yourself without undoing your commitment to your health and waistline.

The key is to know when you’ll be tested. There isn’t a greater stereotype when it comes to overeating than the all-you-can-eat buffet.

But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You don’t have to stuff yourself at each meal. You don’t even have to stuff yourself at all.

You can pick another place to eat if you know there will be temptations. If not, you can take advantage of the huge variety of food a buffet often offers and simply pick out the keto options.

This is the same when you eat out at other restaurants too. Use these tips to select keto-friendly choices and successfully stick with your lifestyle.

Keep good habits when you’re keto

It’s easy to get lost in all the splendor of vacation and slip up on the things that worked for you when your ‘out-of-office’ message wasn’t working overtime. But if you keep the little habits in order, the end result will come much easier.

The first is the drink. It may be tempting to drink anything you can get your hands on, but certain alcohol is better when you’re keto. You wouldn’t drink sugary drinks on their own, so why do it just because it has alcohol in it?

The second is drinking water. Specifically, water with a bit of salt in it. Salt is essential to stay hydrated –water itself doesn’t work as well. When you party hard or drink alcohol, you’re going to be dehydrated.

This is even worse when you’re keto. Carbohydrates promote water retention, so if you don’t make an effort to stay hydrated, you may find you dry out faster than you think. This is bad for your digestive system and your overall sense of well-being.

The third is to tactically spend your recreation time away from where you eat. Make it difficult for yourself to eat more than you should. After all, if you’re not near the smell of cooking or the lines to get to delicious food, you won’t feel the need.

It’s all about planning, not willpower.

Or, you could simply wave this all goodbye and simply decide to not eat during your vacation. Radical, I know. But as I said, I just wrapped up an epic fast while on vacation.

You may think this was an unnecessary deprivation when I’m meant to enjoy myself, but I can tell you I had a lot of fun with it.

It gave me a new insight into my own body and its relationship with food. I felt more alive and rejuvenated than ever –it’s amazing how self-sufficient the body can be when it wants.


If you want to be successful at keto or fasting, you need to plan for situations life throws at you. When you’re on vacation, food and drink will come your way whether you want them to or not. The key is not to try and grin and bear it, but to be smart about it.

This is why you should work out what places near you serve keto food, and how to avoid the temptations you’ll be around. With that under your belt, you can truly enjoy your vacation and feel amazing knowing you won’t feel guilty afterward!

This information is intended to help readers be more informed about their health options when speaking with a professional, but it should not be used alone to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Be sure to speak to a qualified doctor before taking any action to make sure that your choices reflect your actual health situation.

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