Does your upcoming vacation have you worried about your waistline? You should be. The average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation. (Admittedly, I’m more like 2-3 per day.)
But that doesn’t have to be you. Most of the time extra pounds sneak up on you when you least expect it, so decide right here and now that your vacation will leave you slimmer than when you left. As you embark on your next vacation adventure, use these 6 tips not only to avoid weight gain on vacation, but to come home fitter than when you left.
Tip #1: Cut Your Carbs
Vacation days are notorious for carbohydrate-rich meals, and it’s a well-known fact that too many carbohydrates will quickly add up to unwanted pounds. Combat this fat-trap by choosing one meal per day to go carb-less.
Breakfast: This may be the most effective meal to use the carb-less trick, since breakfast often involves breads, pastries or pancakes. Skip the toast and fill up on egg whites and lean breakfast meats.
Lunch: A great carb-less lunch is a salad with lean meat. It’s so filling and satisfying that you won’t even miss the bread.
Dinner: Since you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel deprived, so dinner is the hardest meal to go carb-less. But if you’ve indulged at breakfast and lunch then make it a point to cut the carbs at dinner. Stick with veggies and lean meats.
Tip #2: Be Active
If your travels keep you too busy for a workout, or if your hotel does not have an exercise room, make a conscious effort to be active everyday. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit. Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening.
Tip #3: Indulge with Control
Eating out is a must while on vacation. Whether you’re visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you are faced with the same problem: large portions. While the easiest thing to do with a large portioned meal is to simply eat it all – you are on vacation after all…right? – that isn’t the best for your waist.
When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat. This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion. If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.
Tip #4: Don’t Eat Late
One of the easiest tricks for preventing weight loss is to simply stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed. This is especially effective while on vacation. So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great.
Tip #5: Snack Healthy
Have you ever noticed how travel days create the perfect opportunity for snacking? A coffee and muffin before your flight, a snack on the plane and then before you know it — it’s lunch time! Taking a road trip? This opens up even more opportunities for regrettable snacking … rest-stop vending machines, gas station quickie marts, and of course, the never ending string of fast-food restaurants along the highway.
This summer cut unhealthy snacking off at the pass by brining along your own healthy options. Dried or fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, health bars, cut veggies and low fat crackers are a good start. By filling up on these healthy snacks between meals you will end up eating less when presented with a less-than-healthy meal.
Tip #6: Avoid Fried Foods
While fast-food restaurants are definitely convenient with their low prices and quick service, this convenience is not worth the additional pounds brought on by chips and fries. As you enjoy your vacation keep this in mind: avoid fried foods. While this is always good advice to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.
While vacationing you will likely burn fewer calories each day than you would burn at home, and you are consuming more calories due to your schedule of eating out. You are walking a fine line, and eating fried foods would throw you right over the edge. A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry — so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your caloric intake.