to avoid weight gain on vacation
Source: Valley News Live
Vacations can be wonderful, but not the extra weight that you sometimes bring home with you.
Worrying about weight creep can be stressful when you're supposed to be having fun and relaxing. If you follow some simple advice, though, you can have your cake and enjoy your vacation, too. Aim for maintenance by following these simple tips.
- Get moving. The best way to keep your weight in check is to get as much exercise as you can. Walk the golf course or safe city streets, play basketball, swim, kayak, rent bikes, or play tennis. If your vacation does not have exercise built into it, look into hotels that offer gyms, which are usually open from early morning through late evening. Talk to your doctor, though, before you increase your activity level.
- Do the balancing act. On vacation, let some meals 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 a heavy entree and/or dessert. The bottom line? Balance your daily options, try not to waste calories on something you can easily get at home, and don't feel guilty for the occasional treat or indulgence. It's just one part of your day's total calories.
- Watch portions. Dining out and large portions go hand in hand. Entrees and desserts are often two to four times larger than a standard serving. Portion control is especially critical on a vacation, when eating out is often the norm. Think about sharing an entree, or having a salad and an appetizer for dinner. But don't skip any meals to save room or calories for later. You will wind up too hungry and, most likely, will overeat.
- Plan ahead. 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 sticks, natural yogurts, small packages of nuts, or whole-grain crackers. These are also good to have on hand when traveling so you don't get caught at the vending machine.
- Drink - with caution. Alcohol calories add up quickly, and people may tend to drink more when they are relaxed and on vacation. Be especially wary of fruity drinks, such as daiquiris, margaritas, and coladas. They often contain as many as 300 to 600 calories per drink. Limit yourself to one of these at most. Instead, you can opt for a lower-calorie choice, such as light beer, wine spritzer, wine, champagne, or spirits mixed with seltzer or club soda. Alternate by following an alcoholic drink with water. Also be aware that drinking alcohol can weaken your resolve. Then you'll be more easily tempted to overeat.
- Treat yourself - without food. There are many ways to indulge 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 as an indulgence.