Foods To Have And Avoid At An All-Inclusive Resort
I love a good all-inclusive resort. I find them to be pretty price efficient when you compare them to paying for every single meal, cocktail, show ticket, kayak rental, and Zumba class individually. And, when you travel to a new place, trying to find a restaurant to eat at that doesn’t charge ridiculous tourist prices, and actually serves authentic fare, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, can be exhausting. If you’re truly far from home, you might have a hard time finding activities and tours that are both safe and fairly priced. An all-inclusive resort handles a lot of this for you. The only trouble is that I tend to come back from all-inclusive resorts a little heavier than I left for them. It’s hard not to try each special kind of pudding and bread when they’re all included. So, if you’re off to a place like this this summer, here are the foods you should eat, and avoid, at an all-inclusive resort.
Eat: the free fruit
You should find bowls of it in the lobby, in the gym, around the pool, and—of course—at the buffet. Snack on these, and put pieces in your purse for later. Don’t feel bad about putting four or five oranges and bananas in your bag. You’re technically paying for them.
Avoid: the free pretzels
At the various bars around the resort you’ll probably find bowls of pretzels and chips. Stay away from these. A good way to do that is to avoid the sugary cocktails that make you crave these snacks in the first place. Just wait until mealtime to eat, and if you must snack, eat the fruit in your bag.
Eat: the free bar nuts
Bar nuts can actually provide a nice source of protein if you’re feeling peckish between meals. Just be a bit demanding, and ask the bartender to pour you a fresh bowl since you never know how many hands have been in the older bowl.
Avoid: the ice cream bowls
There will probably be an ice cream machine at the buffet. Don’t grab an ice cream bowl to fill up. You feel like you have to fill up the whole bowl, and then you even have room to add chocolate shavings, whipped cream, and cookie crumbles.
Eat: the ice cream cones
If you must have ice cream, just put it in a cone. These provide built-in portion control, and don’t even leave the option to add sugary, fatty toppings.
Avoid: the complimentary juice
Your lobby may always have trays of complimentary, tropical juice. It seems refreshing, but it’s loaded with sugar—even if it’s made from some exotic fruit you haven’t heard of.
Drink: the fruit-infused water
Hit up the water stations around the resort. Bring a refillable bottle and fill it each time you pass one of these dispensers. Staying hydrated is a great way to fend off snack cravings.
Avoid: the pastry table
Just skip this part of the breakfast buffet altogether. I’m sure the place you’re visiting has some special pastry for which they’re famous, so try one (or better yet, split it with your travel companion) and move on. Muffins and donuts are the same all over the world.
Eat: the build-it-yourself omelet bar
If the buffet has a chef cooking up omelets for which you can choose your ingredients. Go there. Add tons of veggies, and lean protein like turkey sausage, tuna, or feta cheese.
Avoid: premade salads
If the salad is pre-dressed, it is probably over-dressed. So it’s best to avoid the pre-mixed salads like Ceasar, Ambrosia, chunky chicken, and tuna.
Eat: the raw salad bar
Do go to the DIY salad bar and load up on fresh, undressed vegetables like spinach, carrots, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and corn. Add protein like hard-boiled eggs or turkey, and top it off with simple olive oil and lemon juice.
Avoid: the soups
The soups will probably either be very fatty, cream-based ones like corn chowder, broccoli cheddar, and clam chowder, or they’ll be heavy-on-the-salt broth-based ones.
Eat: the shrimp/shellfish
Shellfish like oysters and clams, as well as shrimp, provide low-fat, low-calorie sources of quality protein. Plus, this is where you get your bang for your buck at all-inclusive buffets.
Avoid: the late night snacks
Your resort probably rolls out some late night snacks for people hanging at the Jacuzzi at 11pm or coming back from dancing at midnight. But these may include things like taco bars and mini grilled cheese sandwiches. Try to walk right past these.
Eat: away from the resort sometimes
If you’re staying over a week, it’s best to venture off the property for a few meals. This will break up the overindulgence of the buffets, and allow you to try some local, authentic fare.