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Flickr / SteFou!
Flickr / SteFou!

There’s nothing like a vacation with family or friends to help you disconnect from the daily grind. But sometimes with the excitement of getting away from the real world, it gets easy to make poor choices at meal time — especially if you’re eating at fast food restaurants.

With just a little extra effort to plan ahead, you can still keep your energy levels up and your diet in check, even if you do make the occasional trip through a drive-thru.

RELATED: Traveling soon? You’ll want these hotel room workout tips

CNN recently spoke to author and dietian Elisa Zied, who offered the following tips:

Pack a snack bag

Snacks that are in high protein and fiber will help keep you from overeating. Carry a bag with nuts, seeds, or single-serving nut butters to fill in your nutrition gaps while on the road.

Pack a cooler

A cooler filled with fresh fruit (with peels), berries, single-serving cheeses, low-fat yogurt, hummus and vegetables are great snacks between meals or to offset anything you might eat from a fast-food restaurant.

Water, water, water

It’s important to stay hydrated; by packing bottles of water, you’re less likely to indulge in less healthful choices, like energy drinks or soda.

Pro tip: Freeze several bottles of water ahead of your road trip, then pack them in your cooler to use as ice. When they start to melt, you’ll have cold water to drink without having to buy it at a grocery store or gas station.

Simple is better

Try to stick to lean proteins, like grilled chicken or turkey, and vegetables. Keep the portion sizes of starches as small as possible.

Upgrade your meals

Substitute your bread or buns for whole-wheat options if they are available, and try to replace bacon with avocado. Adding vegetables like lettuce, tomato, or onion helps, too.

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Jessie Taylor is a freelance writer and crafter who is currently traveling the U.S. in search of her ideal place to live and the perfect cup of coffee. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.
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