You’ve been going strong for seven weeks. You’re down 13 pounds. You have 15 more to go. Then it hits.
That is a somewhat common scenario in my nutrition practice and clients are asking me what they should do.
Vacation is a time to rest, relax and let the worries of everyday life fade away. But it can also be a time when anxiety begins to build over your ability to maintain weight loss success. While your trip may include foods and beverages that you wouldn’t normally consume, your vacation doesn’t have to be a dieting disaster. You didn’t work this hard just to gain it back in a week.
Follow these 5 tips to help lead you to a vacation victory!
1.) Before you leave for vacation, determine your goal. While on vacation do you want to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight? If you’re in the middle of weight loss success, than you know how to do it. Eat, drink and exercise accordingly. Remember. vacation is not an excuse to abuse your health; it is a time to relax and enjoy yourself. You’ll enjoy yourself more if that bathing suit fits you as good on the last day as it did on the first.
2.) Look for ways to be more physically active on vacation. You can’t exercise away a bad vacation diet- so don’t try. But, you can increase your chances of maintaining your weight if you increase your physical activity. Rent a bike, take a brisk walk on the beach or rollerblade on the boardwalk. Playing Frisbee or volleyball on the beach are fun options too.
3.) Invest in a cooler and hit the beach prepared with healthy snacks. Grabbing the first slice of boardwalk pizza you see will be tempting if you allow yourself to get too hungry. Packing mini-meal’s (A.K.A. healthy snacks) will keep your hunger in check and hold you over until meal time. Remember that a mini-meal is a combination of food groups. So, forget the bag of chips and go for ½ turkey sandwich and an apple. That’s what a balanced and nutritious snack looks like.
4.) Be sure to count liquid calories. Sipping Pina colada’s and Strawberry daiquiris by the pool may sound like the perfect vacation, but beware. The calorie count in just one Pina Colada hits 500, easy. Spoiling yourself with a few of those sweet treats will likely spoil your mood when you return home. Limit yourself to one drink occasionally. If alcohol is your vacation splurge, a beer or glass of wine will provide fewer calories. Beware of the high sugar mixers.
5.) Consider the choices you make but don’t deprive. It’s vacation! This is a time to relax, have fun and dive into the other cultures. Whether you’re enjoying a Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia, a slice of Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys or New England Clam Chowder in Boston, savor a small portion and move on.