Healthy Traveler's Guide to Las Vegas | Katie Proctor

Between the gambling, flowing drinks and indulgent food, there’s a reason Sin City has a reputation. I’ve been there, done that so I was hoping to “do Vegas” a little differently this time.

I wondered if it was possible to spend a weekend in one of the {stereotypically} least healthy vacation spots and not come back feeling worse off than when I left.


Exhibit A: Our 2011 trip to Las Vegas where I wasted an entire day feeling miserable and wishing we had an earlier flight.

I’m sharing my tips, tricks and recommendations for doing Vegas, elevated.

1. Skip the monster sugary drinks in a boot/guitar/fishbowl/insert massive vessel of choice. The only thing these are good for is making you crash…hard. Drinking is hard enough on our systems, but adding boatloads of sugar to the mix is just going to exacerbate things. Instead, opt for plain soda water and fruit or bring your own mixers, like these on-the-go packets from Madhava. Sweetened only with stevia and agave powder, and 5 calories each, the Coconut Quench was my beverage of choice when hanging by the pool. It’s ok if you’d rather sip iced coffee, too! That’s what I did most days. At night, stop by Squeeze at the LINQ for fresh-pressed juice cocktails that will give you a blast of antioxidants and are seriously delicious.


2. Move every single day. No matter what. Yes, the Strip is long but walking is really not enough to counteract the dehydrating effects of travel plus any bad decisions you may or may not have made. I recommend the Sweat:60 class at The Cosmopolitan for a kick-butt HIIT session that is unlike anything I found in all of my research. It’s only $15 {cheaper than most drinks in Vegas} and offered 2x per day most days. No need to register in advance, just show up! The personal trainer {Instagram: @palanimakfitness} will even do private sessions for bachelorette parties or other groups. Other mornings, I streamed in-room body weight exercises or looked up circuits on Pinterest that incorporate the treadmill and free weights like this and this. I had good intentions of trying something from ClassPass, but most were just far enough away that it was pretty inconvenient. Lots of options if you find yourself in “old” downtown Las Vegas, though!


3. Ditch the Strip at least once. Ever since moving to Colorado, I have a burning desire to be outside as much as possible, especially when traveling. I want to see the natural beauty of all the places I visit! And surprisingly there are quite a few in and around Las Vegas. We booked an excursion through Kayak Las Vegas that was by far the highlight of the trip — a guided 8 mile hike of White Rock Canyon and playtime in the hot springs. The views were absolutely gorgeous and it was hard to believe we were just outside the noise of the Strip. They take care of transportation and lunch, and oftentimes have Groupon deals so keep an eye out. My first choice was the Black Canyon kayaking excursion {through Emerald Cove} but we decided too late and all of the permits were sold out. If this is something you’re interested in, definitely plan early. I’m so thankful I stumbled upon this blog post written by a local for outdoor activity inspiration before the trip.


4. Be choosy at buffets. But not in a boring way. You can still enjoy the food, but take a walk around the entire buffet before even picking up a plate. That way you can decide what you really want to try and what’s worth a pass. I typically decide first whether I’m feeling breakfast or lunch and go from there. This trip, I got a veggie-packed omelet and ate that before going back for some French toast sticks and berries. I was eyeing this from the get-go but knew I wanted to focus on protein and veggies, then determine my hunger level. I had just run 3 miles to and from Mandalay Bay/Cosmopolitan for the Sweat:60 class so I was feeling some carbs! Another way we saved money {and calories} was by bringing our travel blender and pre-portioned nutrition powder for our morning shakes so we never had to worry about breakfast. I do this every trip and it’s a total game changer in the way I feel, because I’m getting antioxidants and other key nutrients first thing! Best hangover cure, too.


Sweet potato lettuce wraps at China Poblano

5. Choose a hotel that meets your needs. If I had to do it all again, I would definitely stay at one of three places: The Cosmopolitan {amazing gym, bootcamp, juice bar and my favorite restaurant of the trip — China Poblano}, the Westin Lake Las Vegas {relaxed vibe off the strip, SUP rentals} or tried one of the Deepak Chopra “Stay Well” rooms at MGM Grand {complete with blackout shades, dawn simulator alarm clock and vitamin C-infused shower}. Many hotels also have great spa opportunities to unwind/relax, most notably Canyon Ranch at the Venetian. They even have a rock climbing wall! And if you’re vegan, the Wynn is the place to be with inventive options at all of their restaurants.


There you have it! My top 5 tips for surviving {and thriving} in Las Vegas. For more healthy hotspots {including juice bars and where to get the best grass-fed burgers}, check out my friend Jenny’s faves in Sin City.

Are you inspired to do Vegas a little differently next time? Any must-try things that I missed? You can find posts from my trip by searching #healthyvegas on Instagram, and I’d love to see you post yours using the same!

P.S. Download my FREE Healthy Vegas Cheat Sheet so you can print it off and take it on the go with you.