Hello vacation! Be it taking some time off from your busy schedule, spending time with the family back home, or exploring a new city, it’s a wonderful time to step outside your normal routine, let go of everything, sit back, and unwind even for just few days. It’s so easy to lose control of healthy eating while on vacation and it’s tough to stay fit either with an array of new exciting food, drinks and delicious temptations to try.
Does the escape have to leave us with the inevitable extra weight? Studies confirm that adults going on a 1 to 3 weeks vacation put on nearly one pound the least. But it doesn’t have to be the case, as by following some few tricks, it is possible to go away, have fun and come back without the extras.
Eat before heading to the airport to avoid the fast food courts and plane meals as the trip to the airport reaching your destination can easily add up to a 1000 calorie.
Control one of your meals, usually it’s easier to practice some mindful eating for your first meal as lunch and dinner tend to be indulgent. Control your breakfast; keep it small and protein rich to keep you full and to save some calories for the other meals. This way you can treat yourself with something sweet or have some extra carbs without feeling guilty later.
Choose a healthy option after an unhealthy meal. After you splurged in for lunch, go carb-less for dinner or order a light salad. Always ask for healthy options on the menu. If you set this tone, it will be easier post vacation to get back to your healthy routine.
Pack your snacks. If you’re out all day and have no access to food of your choice you will reach your midday hunger and you will eat more on your next meal. To resist the over eating, carry a protein fiber rich snack such as fresh or dried fruits with raw nuts or a protein bar.
Stop eating when comfortable not full. The ‘on vacation mode’ is translated as everything is allowed making you forget the habit of paying attention to what and when you eat. Listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, and don’t overstuff your belly. Keep your portion sizes controlled and remember to always share your meals.
Keep yourself hydrated. It will help keep your metabolism running normally and prevent you from overeating. Dehydration is always mistaken for hunger as you end up eating when you really don’t need to.
Go easy on your drinks. A single cocktail contains loads of sugar and diet destroying calories. Count your drinks and opt for lower calorie drinks like light beer, wine, vodka soda water and have some sparkling water between each drink.
Track your activity. You don’t need a gym to stay active; usually you will move more on a vacation, just take the opportunity to walk whenever possible. Aim for 12000 steps a day. Wearing a fitness band, downloading a fitness app or wearing a pedometer helps you quantify your efforts.
Take the opportunity to relax and recharge. Good gateways reduce your stress levels and help you think about new goals to achieve in your lives. No matter what you do or where you, go just enjoy yourself.
Diana Nakhle is a clinical dietician from
Lebanon. Throughout her career, she has
succeeded to provide nutrition counseling
to thousands of people to help them
achieve a healthier lifestyle.