Vacations usually mean all-you-can-eat buffets and eating out every day. While traveling, it’s easy to let yourself gain weight when surrounded by huge portions with little exercise. 36% of adults start a diet directly before they leave for vacation and one third report to starting a diet right after they get back home. But a vacation doesn’t mean your health progress needs to pause. Follow this simple plan to stay slim before, during and after your vacation.
Before You Leave
Consciously prepare for your vacation so you can get the most out of your relaxation and health.
Research where you’ll be staying and its amenities. Check to see if your hotel has a gym or healthy breakfast options. Also research any temptations that may be present, such as vending machines, so you'll be prepared to fight them before you get there.
Schedule your workouts and visualize your goals. Studies show that focusing and imagining yourself achieving goals can translate to real life successes. By preplanning how you will meet your goals, you are more likely to achieve them.
Pack your own snacks for the plane ride. Airport food usually means fast food, which is packed with salt, fat and preservatives. Instead, start your trip on the right foot by bringing your own snacks, such as apple slices and nut butter or nuts.
Once You’re There
Eat at local restaurants rather than chains. Chain restaurants are notorious for overly large portions with high salt and fat content. Instead, try to eat local. You’ll be eating fresher, local ingredients that typically have fewer preservatives and get a chance to explore that culture’s unique food.
Utilize your hotel’s amenities. Now it’s time to use all the research you did before you left. Take the time out of your day to go to the hotel’s gym or take a long post-dinner stroll along the beach.
Try to incorporate movement throughout your day. When sightseeing, skip the bus tour. Instead, grab some comfortable shoes and take a run or walk around the main streets. One of the best ways to explore a new location is by foot! You’ll be taking in the sights like a native while also burning calories.
It’s OK to indulge a little bit – just remember to make intentional choices. Watch your alcohol and dessert intake. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and fun, but make sure you moderate your indulgences.
After the Trip
Stay consistent once you land back home. Though tempting, don’t drastically cut calories or push your work out too hard in order to “make up” for vacation indulgences. Long-term, healthy weight loss comes from consistent life-style changes.
Accept, forgive and move on. If you got off track or gained weight during your vacation, the healthiest thing you can do is accept, forgive and then move forward. Accept the setback but acknowledge all the fun and relaxation you had. Forgive yourself and let go of any guilt, and then move on and continue your weight loss journey.