Replacing routine, classes and late-night study sessions with cocktails, sunshine and beaches is appealing. We all crave a break from our day-to-day lives by going on vacation. Especially if you’re just coming out of exam season or finishing up college and preparing for the next phase of your life. It’s important to celebrate and unwind.
But, on holiday it can be tempting to treat ourselves at every meal, especially if food is included in the hotel. We justify it in our heads in lots of different ways, but regardless, we need to remember what we’re eating has consequences.
The other side of a holiday can be our activity drops off. Without our routine, regular gym sessions can be replaced with hours reclining by the pool. Many people reward themselves with relaxing holidays after a stressful exam period, rather than tackling strenuous activities. Or we spend our energy partying and celebrating instead. This can lead to weight gain and feeling lethargic so you can’t fully enjoy your vacation.
Also keep in mind, if you let yourself relax a little bit that’s totally fine, you won’t totally mess up your weight loss journey because you ate a few unhealthy foods and drank a few alcoholic beverages on your vacation.
If you eat healthy foods overall, think about portion size, do some exercise, choose some less caloric options, you will be able to continue your weight loss journey when the vacation is over it’s time to work, without any long-term consequences.
These next tips will make sure that you still have a fantastic holiday, without coming home filled with regret. You can enjoy your vacation without feeling restricted.
Please note, this article is written for informational purposes only. If you have specific concerns, please seek medical advice or book with a registered dietician.
How to Avoid Gaining Weight On Vacation
One of the easiest mistakes to make on holiday is to mistake thirst for hunger. When you’re out of routine, there’s a delicious-looking room service menu, thinking that you’re hungry when you’re really just needing some water is far too easy to do. Make sure you keep water bottles with you all the time and if you start to feel hungry, take a big swig. Wait a few minutes before deciding if you really need to order some fries.
Depending on where you go on holiday, it can be easy to focus on either relaxing or partying. But making sure you include some physical activity in your holiday plans will leave you feeling energized. Especially if you have a regular fitness routine at home. Try and book somewhere with a hotel gym, including a long walk after breakfast or sign-up for a hike. A quick 20-minute workout will pay dividends.
When you’re away from home, every hunger pang can turn into an excuse for a meal. Sometimes you won’t have access to snacks or small meals in your hotel room, even though that’s all you need. Packing some healthy snacks like single serves of peanut butter, trail mix or protein bars in your luggage will mean that you can have a bite to eat without it turning into a high calorie meal.
A breakfast buffet can seem like such a treat. Piles of pastries, crispy bacon, sweet treats, freshly baked bread, all laid out and looking delicious. You can eat a hotel breakfast in a healthy way though. Pile up your plate with fresh fruit before you look at anything else to help fill you up and avoid vacation weight gain.
It can be tempting to drink a lot of alcoholic drinks while on holiday. It’s a time to unwind and celebrate. But there can be a lot of calories (leading to extra pounds) hidden in those margaritas and many other alcoholic beverages. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time but do so responsibly. Rather than throwing back multiple sugar syrup based cocktails, drink slowly. Get yourself a drink you can sip rather than something super sweet. Two great options are a vodka soda (add a twist of lime or a dash of cranberry) or a wine spritzer. There’s no need to restrict yourself if you want to drink, but drinking healthier alcoholic beverages with less sugar and calories will help you avoid weight gain even while drinking alcohol.
Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean every meal needs to be an extravagant treat. Make sure you’re choosing to eat healthy at most meals. This doesn’t have to be boring, you can still try local delicacies, indulge in the occasional dessert or order something you wouldn’t usually. But make sure you’re balancing that with healthy options at other meals so that you don’t head home wanting to lose weight, and so you don’t mess up your blood sugar.
When we’re sleeping, our bodies can do the necessary repair work. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep as those that are sleep deprived are more likely to consume excess calories. Making sure you get enough rest, even if you’re out partying all night will help you maintain your metabolism, which will help you burn the calories you are consuming.
Get Your Fiber
Make sure you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables to get in your recommended daily fiber. This will help you feel full and stay regular. Foods high in fiber, like fruits and vegetables are also filled with other nutrients and minerals so you’ll make sure you’re getting in other essential parts of your diet. Eat a variety of colors and don’t be afraid to try new local foods. At least one meal a day you have needs to have fiber and nutrients, but ideally, all of them will.