How to Eat Healthy at an All-Inclusive Resort

by Brooke on February 12, 2013

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort with numerous different theme restaurants and a buffet everywhere you looked. Eating healthy and safely can be a challenge at some all-inclusives.   On a past vacation to an all-inclusive in Mexico, I got food poisoning.

Here are a few tips you can follow at an all-inclusive that won’t lead to weight gain or food poisoning:

1)       Use hand sanitizer!  At all-inclusives there are buffets open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Since, you go up and touch all the utensil handles of the food at the buffet yourself use a little hand sanitizer before you grab that fresh slice of pizza on your plate .  It doesn’t hurt to be cautious, because you never know if other international travelers are practicing good hand hygiene.

2)      Find out how the resort washes their produce.  Some newer/nicer resorts do have water filtration systems that they use to wash off their vegetables with.  However, if the vegetables on the salad bar are not washed with filtered water I would recommend choosing the cooked ones from the buffet.

3)     If possible choose condiments that are individually wrapped.  I really love peanut butter, but I saw way too many vacationers scooping out the peanut butter in a questionable maner.

I chose the prepackaged margarine at breakfast, instead of the one just sitting out. 

4)     Pack snacks.   If a meal looks questionable or you just need a little taste of home pack a few snacks in your luggage.  Granola bars, small packages of unsalted nuts, and dried fruit normally travel well.  A few of the breakfast options at our resort didn’t taste great and I needed something to go with my coffee.

5)     Share desserts when possible.  It is so hard at all-inclusives not to overindulge  in the the decadent desserts they have setting out all hours of the day.  In an attempt to save your waistline, try sharing your favorite treats with your significant other, family member, or friend on vacation.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny Champion February 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

LOL that hand sanitizer is amazing! Avoiding the 10 pound bloat on vacation is always a hot topic. Sharing desserts and bringing snacks really work! Great post with great tips!


Brooke February 20, 2013 at 2:09 am

Hi Jenny, Thank you! I got the sanitizer from a friend for my birthday this year. It made me giggle everytime I used it :)


Steve March 13, 2013 at 2:49 am

I wish I had read something like this before my list trip to Jamaica. I was thinking most of the same things you wrote about regarding sanitation and such. I passed on many things that looked questionable. Still, on the last day I was sicker than the proverbial dog.

Thanks for some great ideas. We are planning a cruise in May and maybe I stay somewhat healthier this time.


Brooke April 19, 2013 at 1:18 am

Thanks for the comment Steve! I hope you have a nice cruise!!


Andy Glenn March 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hilarious sanitizer…Seriously though, in any buffet, the dirtiest part of the buffet is the service spoons since everyone puts their hands there…


Brooke April 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

Ha! Glad you liked it :)


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