You’ve worked hard all year, and now it’s time to relax and enjoy some much-needed downtime on vacation.
But it doesn’t have to mean a time off from your diet.
Vacation can pose a lot of challenges for someone who is trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss.
“The best thing someone can do while on vacation is set realistic goals,” says Jim Henry, RD, member of Penn's bariatric program. “Most people will eat out more and spend less time at the gym, but if you anticipate what your challenges and weaknesses will be on vacation, you can arm yourself with tactics to stay in control.”
Here are some tips to stay on track while on vacation.
Move a little every day
It’s okay to not log hours at the gym while on vacation, but you can plan to move every day. Plan a daily walk on the beach, a morning swim at the pool, a bike ride to the coffee shop, or an evening stroll on the boardwalk. Vacations are supposed to be fun and time to enjoy with your family and friends. Take the time to recharge your batteries, but don’t spend too much time on the couch.
It’s easy to overindulge on vacation, but staying hydrated can keep your energy level up and keep you feeling fuller. Plus, you’ll feel healthier getting your recommended daily intake of water every day.
If you are spending a lot of time in the sun, or flying, your body needs more water to combat dryness and dehydration from the heat.
Fill up on filling foods
Summertime is a great opportunity to lighten up your meals with fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables. Shop local at your vacation spot for in-season foods, grill fresh fish and chicken on the grill, and lighten up on healthy, light salads.
Make healthy choices when you eat out
You will eat out at restaurants (part of the fun of being on vacation is not cooking!) but you can make healthy choices when you eat out at restaurants.
Remember these tips when ordering:
- Decide what to order before entering the restaurant. This tactic helps you avoid any tempting foods that may not be as healthy.
- If you are trying a new restaurant, take time to study the menu to avoid making unhealthy decisions. Don’t be shy in asking about things you can’t find on the menu. Many restaurants will make accommodations for you.
- Ask the server to hold the breadbasket from the table.
- Avoid foods described as buttery, buttered, fried, pan-fried, creamed, scalloped, au gratin (with cheese) or a la mode (with ice cream).
- Choose foods that are baked, grilled and broiled.
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