5 Easy Tips to Avoid Vacation Weight Gain

The purpose of going on vacation is simple—to take a break from the rigors of day-to-day living. However, we also tend to take a break from daily exercise and healthy eating as we launch into local cuisine with little, if any, mind to the damage it's doing to our diets. When the week is over, we return relaxed, refreshed, and five pounds heavier.

While you could view your vacation weight-gain as simply part of a rewarding experience, there are ways you can enjoy in the foods you love and prevent the post-vacation bulge.

1. Work fitness into your plans. Regardless of where you're headed on your getaway, factoring in fitness is not only possible, but easy. What's more, adding in physical activity will provide you with the latitude you need to enjoy some extra calories.

Plan ahead to ensure that you partake in at least one activity that gets you moving. Whether it's hiking to the top of a volcano in Costa Rica, going on a bike tour in Paris, or swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean, burning calories can be fun and worthwhile if you plan accordingly.

2. Limit alcohol consumption. If you're heading to Napa for winery tours, this tip may be difficult to accomplish. But most alcoholic drinks are calorie- and carbohydrate-dense and have little-to-no nutritional value. Which is why limiting your intake will help limit the amount of empty calories you consume and the amount of weight you pack on.

3. Choose wisely. You know exactly what's in your food when you prepare it at home. When you're out and in a foreign country, you may be clueless as to how the food is cooked. The key to undermining this fact and making health-wise choices when abroad is opting for foods that are baked, grilled, or broiled. Little, if any, fat will be added.

"But, what's a trip to Italy without a giant bowl of pasta?" you ask. Well, in addition to choosing wisely, you need to splurge shrewdly. If you know you're going to partake in a dinner that's less-than diet desirable, be sure the rest of your day's meals are light and nutritious.

4. Pack snacks. When provided a menu during major meals, it's relatively easy to make health-conscious decisions. It's between meals that can become problematic. Often we resort to whatever is available, which means food that's more convenient than healthy. By packing your own snacks (nuts, health bars, all natural fruit snacks, etc), you'll be able to stave off hunger in a way that's more in line with your typical eating habits.

5. Eat well and exercise when you're not on vacation.  If you're mindful of what you eat and how you exert your energy everyday, giving yourself a break can actually benefit you. A study conducted by the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Brown Medical School/The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island found that those who took prescribed breaks from their dieting were more likely to adhere to their healthy eating habits and self-monitor in the long term than those who did not.

Remember, if it's your normal habit to eat well and exercise, any weight gain that may have occurred during vacation will and can easily be lost when you return.





Wing RR, Jeffery RW.
Prescribed "breaks" as a means to disrupt weight control efforts.