It isn’t easy to keep off weight while on vacation. Weight loss often comes from forming new eating and exercise habits, and maintaining these behaviors in unfamiliar settings is a real challenge. Whether you’ve recently lost weight or have been in the maintenance phase for some time, the same simple steps can help you manage your weight while you enjoy your vacation.
Go Grocery Shopping
Restaurant food is delicious and often decadent. Hidden calories in the form of extra fat and sugar lurk behind seemingly healthy dishes. Although eating out is one of the pleasures of vacationing, it doesn’t mean you have to indulge three times a day. Make one of the first stops on your trip the grocery store. If you don’t have a fridge or cooler in your hotel room, then stick to items that don’t need to stay cold like fresh fruit and whole-wheat bread. Unless you are in a very hot climate you can even pick up some cheese—but stick to harder varieties. Select items with certain meals in mind like fruit salad or sandwiches.
At the store be sure to buy a wide variety of healthy snack foods like dry-roasted almonds, low-fat string cheese and whole-wheat crackers. The worst thing you can do is let your body feel so hungry that you overindulge on restaurant food. Rather, keep a stash of healthy snacks at hand to ward off extreme hunger and to avoid fattening fast-food options.
Exercising while one vacation is much easier than it sounds. Many hotels have gyms, but your destination may offer more exciting options. Exploring a foreign city all day long is bound to burn off a lot of calories, especially if you do it all on foot or bike. Spa vacations that focus on relaxation usually offer yoga, Pilates and other classes. And day hikes, swimming at the beach or pool and playing sports like tennis and golf are fun ways to keep those extra pounds at bay. Just don’t be afraid to try something new—you may even find a new activity to add to your at-home routine.
Whether you’re traveling the dusty streets of Marrakesh or skiing the Colorado slopes, drinking water and lots of it will keep your body working properly. Oftentimes the body confuses thirst for hunger, leading you to eat unnecessary calories. And drinking water at mealtimes will help you feel full faster, meaning you’ll eat less food. Plus, water helps fight bloating, a side-effect of salty restaurant foods.
Be Fair to Yourself
Vacation may not be the best time to expect substantial weight loss. Be fair to yourself by setting realistic goals. Aim to do some sort of physical activity every day, but don’t waste hours and hours on the treadmill when you’re supposed to be out enjoying yourself. If appropriate, share your plan with your travel partners so they can help you stick to your goals. And finally, when the opportunity comes along to eat a foreign but fatty treat, take a bite and enjoy, just don’t go overboard.