It’s hard to go on vacation and avoid weight gain, but it’s not impossible. Learn how to enjoy the food and maintain your weight.
Vacations can be wonderful, but it’s not unusual to go away for a week and come back five pounds heavier. Worrying about weight creep can be stressful when you’re supposed to be having fun and relaxing.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If you follow some simple advice, you can have your cake and enjoy your vacation, too! Here are some tips to help you through your next trip.
Maybe the best way to keep your weight in check is to get as much exercise as you can. Whether it’s at a hotel gym or on walking trails or city streets, it all adds up to calorie burning. Walk the golf course, play basketball, swim, walk, kayak, bicycle or play tennis. Whatever it is, just try to do it for an hour each day.
Do the balancing act
On vacation, some meals may have priority over others. For instance, maybe the hotel hosts a great brunch. You may want to indulge a little there, but then be sure you make conservative choices the rest of the day. Perhaps a highly recommended restaurant serves a world-famous creamy chowder. Even though it’s a high-fat item, you can make the choice to have it and lay off dessert.
Bottom line? Choose where you want to have your calories. Don’t waste them on something you can easily get at home. Don’t feel guilty for the occasional treat or indulgence. It’s just one part of your total day’s calories.
Dining out and large portions go hand in hand. Entrees and desserts are often two to four times larger than a standard serving. You’ll have to remember this, especially if you are eating out every meal. Think about sharing an entrée, or having a salad and an appetizer for dinner. Don’t skip any meals to save room or calories for later. You will wind up too hungry, and most likely will overeat.
If you can, try to keep some nutritious snacks on hand. If you are staying with relatives or friends, stock some essentials in their fridge. Hotels sometimes have mini-fridges where you can keep some fruit, veggies, low-fat cheese or yogurts. High-protein granola bars, small packages of nuts or whole-grain crackers are just a few ideas. These are also good to have on hand when traveling so you don’t get caught at the airport vending machine.
Drink – with caution
Alcohol calories add up very quickly, and people often drink more when they are relaxed and on vacation. Be especially wary of fruity drinks, such as daquiris, margaritas and coladas. They often contain as many as 300 to 600 calories per drink. Treat yourself to one, but opt for lower-calorie choices, such as light beer, wine spritzers, wine, champagne or spirits mixed with seltzer or club soda. Alternate an alcholic drink with water. Also be aware that if you are drinking alcohol, it can weaken your resolve and you’ll be more easily tempted.
Treat yourself – without food
There are many ways to indulge yourself on vacation that do not involve eating. Treat yourself to a massage, read a great book on the beach, take a long bath, rent a movie you haven’t seen, sleep late. If you feel satisfied and pampered in other ways, you’re less likely to use food to fill that role.