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Sticking to the 21 Day Fix Diet at Disney: A Walt Disney World Dining Review

by Lauren Cataldi-May, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 11-19-2015

As a mom with two kids and two jobs, eating healthy has been difficult.

About two weeks before my August Disney trip, I decided to start a program called the 21-Day Fix. For those of you not familiar with this program, it involves clean eating and staying away from processed foods. My friend suggested just starting my diet a week late, but I decided to try to do my diet at Disney. I knew this would require pre-planning of meals, grocery shopping, and avoidance of all things with sugar -- well mostly all things with sugar! Would this be possible at Disney?

Staying on a diet is not as difficult as you may think at Disney. There are so many places to buy healthy foods. I did have a car with me while at Disney, so I went to the grocery store to buy things for breakfast, lunch, and a couple of snack items. Buying items such as fruits, vegetables, bread, and snacks helped me to stay on my diet and not be tempted to eat things that were not healthy . If you do not have a car, you can get groceries delivered by several grocery order companies or personal shoppers in the Orlando area.

I would eat breakfast, snacks, and lunch from the food I bought at the grocery store. I would pack the snacks with me to eat in the parks and come back to the hotel for lunch (although you could pack your lunch to eat it at the park as well). Dinner was easy to eat at the resorts or at a park. One night I ate the Mixed Greens with Herb Grilled Chicken Breast from the Boardwalk Bakery. The bakery also has an amazing multigrain croissant which made a great snack! Another time I went to Captain Cook's at the Polynesian and got fruit and Greek yogurt and ate by the pool. Disney always has healthy options available wherever you are eating. You can find healthy food at a snack stand, a counter service location, or sit down restaurants. The buffets also offer a wide variety of healthy food for your diet.

One option on the 21 Day Fix is to use a protein shake, which I was drinking. Since I knew this was going to be my breakfast, I brought the protein powder and a blender with me. I drove down, so packing the blender was not a problem for me, but there are many small blenders you can buy that do not weigh much and could go in your suitcase. I sent my husband to the ice machine in the morning and made my shake for my breakfast. Most mornings I would drink my protein shake on the way to the Magic Kingdom. It was great to drink a cold beverage in the August heat!

The best part about being at Disney is the amount of exercise you get on a daily basis. My iPhone said my one morning at Animal Kingdom netted me 10,000 steps. And that was just the morning outing! Many of the deluxe resorts have fitness centers if you would like more than just walking. The fitness centers are a great way to tone all your muscles instead of just your legs. I also took a walk for exercise a couple of nights. For example, one evening I walked from the entrance of Epcot to World Showcase, around World Showcase twice, and back to the entrance. That walk was 2.75 miles. Many of the resorts also have a walking path. The map you are given at check in usually has a walking path outlined. If you did direct check in, go to the main building and ask for a map. I walked around Old Key West one evening and got in two miles!

Now, I need to be honest. I did occasionally have a cookie, brownie, or the occasional slice of pizza. I was, after all, on vacation and I do not usually eat these items at home. Since I was keeping to my diet, slipping every once in a while did not make me gain weight. You are, after all, walking all the time.

When I got home, I was a little apprehensive about stepping on the scale. After taking a breath, I stepped on, looked down, and saw that I lost two pounds! Wow! Not bad for a vacation diet. So, with a little planning, perseverance, and will power, it is possible to lose weight at Disney World!

About the Author: Lauren teaches Kindergarten Music in Delaware and is also a church organist and handbell director for her home church.  She enjoys visiting Disney World with her husband, Jeff, and two boys, Jacob (7) and William (2).  In her spare time, Lauren enjoys helping to raise money for Give Kids the World through the charity Delaware Magical Wishes Association.

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Updated 11-19-2015

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