10 Tips to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain

 August is prime vacation month. You can’t wait for your vacation – visions of lounging poolside with a margarita in hand are floating in your head. However, in the back on your mind, this excitement is dampened by fear of gaining weight while on vacation. All the food … booze … and no gym! The last thing you want to do is to come back from vacation having put back all the weight you worked so hard to get off. A tan body can only hide so much. Is it possible to prevent weight gain while on vacation?  (pic: flickr.com)

So here are the potential problems:
1.Many of us like routines and feel safe with then. Once out of routine, it is easy to fall apart when it comes to your eating and exercise schedule.

2. Often times, there is no access to a gym. This thought is especially of concern to gym rats who are locked into their same old routine of using the treadmill and weight training. 

3. More booze! Perhaps a drink at brunch, drinks poolside, then happy hour, wine at dinner and perhaps more partying later on.

4. No access to your favorite dietetic foods (i.e. I can’t believe its not butter spray, diet salad dressing, light mayo, low carb bread, etc.)

5. Fear of the unknown. What types of foods will be available? Will I be able to resist these foods when I’m not in my own environment? Will I have access to a gym?

6. Time on the road can lead to unhealthy food choices. Think about those  long car trips or time in airports.

7. Pressure from family and friends to partake in eating/drinking festivities or overall sloth like behavior. (pic above of family cookout boston.com)

Tips to minimize vacation weight gain:
1. If possible, plan an active vacation. For me, the ideal vacation would be a ski or biking trip. That way you get to be active during the day and enjoy good food and desserts at night, minus the guilt. Oops …did I forget to say wine?  (pic is of me and my friend Paula skiing in Park City)

2. If you’re not going on an active vacation or don’t have access to a gym, be active in other ways. Take daily long walks on the beach. Rent bikes. Swim laps in the pool. Do tons of sightseeing. I know when I travel to Italy and consume pasta/bread/wine daily, I don’t gain weight because I walk hours a day.

3. Avoid the vacation mentality of  “I’m on vacation so I can eat and drink whatever I want”. True, you can have some indulgences, but it shouldn’t be a free-for-all. Keep the treats to a minimum – maybe one a day.

4. Stick to at least one familiar meal a day if possible. For example, if your usual breakfast is egg whites and fruit, try to have the same while on vacation. This routine can make you feel more in control for the rest of the day. 

5. Avoid wasting calories. Why eat the stale bread at dinner? Or have that second pina colada when the first one wasn’t even so good?

6.  If you do feel the urge for an afternoon cocktail poolside ,  stick to low cal drinks such as wine spritzers or a light beer. Avoid the calorie and sugar ridden frozen drinks.  Make sure you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.  

7. Set a cocktail goal. I might suggest no more than 2 drinks a day (0r 14 a week!)

8. Stock up on healthy snacks to eat during the day. Just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t give you the green light to fill your shopping cart with nachos and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

9. So maybe your meals will be larger, but chances are that you’ll save calories by avoiding all the snacks that you normally eat (mini chocolates, Skinny Cow bars, Pinkberry, etc.)

10. Stay in your bathing suit or skimpy summer clothing as much as possible. The more skin that shows, the less likely you’ll be to overeat!  (pic: theolivepress.es)

Bottom line, vacations should be a time to relax. You don’t want to spend your time worrying about if you’ll gain weight. Follow my tips and you should come back looking relaxed … and with no extra belly fat!



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