With the arrival of each vacation I find myself wondering, “how can I avoid weight gain on vacation?” Can you relate?
I used to feel like my only two options on vacation were to throw my healthy eating habits aside and just let loose, eating whatever I wanted; or, stick to my diet and be miserable.
Thinking my options were one extreme or the other was a total misfire. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I can maintain my healthy eating habits and enjoy food and splurges while on vacation. In fact, I think eating food when you’re traveling is part of the whole experience. Food is such a large part of cultures and if you want to fully experience where you are, you have to try their food!
How To Avoid Weight Gain On Vacation:
After years of letting loose on vacation and then beating myself up for gaining weight afterwards, I decided to make a change. I changed my mindset and therefore the way I approached food while on vacation.In an effort to enjoy my vacation, I wanted to indulge in some “cheat foods, but still avoid weight gain on vacation. I thought it would be tough, but I can’t tell you how easy it is!
Since the new year, I’ve used these tips for maintaining your diet and avoiding weight gain while on vacation and it’s been a total game changer! The physical benefits of not gaining weight on vacation are great, but what I didn’t expect was the mental benefit of shifting your mindset when it comes to eating on vacation.
The tips below freed me from the mental battle of deciding how to eat on vacation and it they freed me up from beating myself up for gaining weight when I returned home from vacation.
Tips For Maintaining Your Diet On Vacation:
- Plan Ahead – planning every meal on vacation is not realistic, but you would be surprised at how much you actually can plan ahead. If you’re vacationing somewhere when you’re cooking your own meals, plan out what you’ll eat for breakfast and lunch and even dinner if possible. If you know ahead of time where you will be going out to eat, look up the menu beforehand and pick a healthy option before you even go. This will keep you from cheating when you’re stomach is growling!
- Give Yourself a Cheat Day/Cheat Meal – not allowing yourself to indulge at all can often backfire! Instead of going cold turkey, allow yourself to enjoy a meal – order anything you want! Or, give yourself a full day where everything is “calorie free” and actually allow yourself to enjoy it.
- pack healthy snacks – this is one of my favorite tips. Packing healthy snacks will keep you from snacking on unhealthy things such as chips or candy. Having healthy snacks will also keep you feeling full and prevent you from overindulging at lunch or dinner.
- Calculate What You’re Eating – keeping track of what you’re consuming is a great way to hold you accountable. I don’t always track with an app, but I find that tracking my food and drinks (I use My Fitness Pal app) is super eye-opening. I find that if I’m writing down what I’m eating and drinking it keeps me from grazing all day long.
- Don’t Graze – if you’re a snacker like me, grazing is your worst enemy on vacation. Grabbing a handful of chips here and a couple bites of a brownie there can really start to add up. Save your calories for mealtime and planned snacks. Grazing quickly adds calories to your daily intake.
- Stay Hydrated – I know you’ve heard it before, but so often when we are feeling hungry we are actually dehydrated. If you keep up with your daily water intake (half of your body weight is recommended), then you’ll find that you’re not that hungry and you’ll snack less.
- Workout – l don’t often workout every single day of vacation because a think breaks are much needed. However, I’ve found that if I start my day by working out I am less likely to eat like crap. Staying active whether it’s a morning walk or a quick run motivates me to put healthy food into my body instead of something like candy or chips.
My Favorite Healthy Snacks To Bring On Vacation:
When deciding which snacks to bring with me on vacation, I pick snacks that are pre-packaged and easy to carry. I also try to pick snacks that are filling – healthy fats or high in protein. Below are snacks I travel with frequently to help avoid weight gain on vacation!
- Protein Bars – my favorite are RXBARS (the Chocolate Sea Salt and Blueberry are so good!) and ThinkThin bars (you have to try the Chunky Peanut Butter!).
- Individualized Nut Packets – I love the individual cashew nut packs from Trader Joes. They’re super filling and small enough to throw in your purse.
- Dried Fruit – fresh fruit isn’t always easy to take with you, so I typically take things like banana chips, dried mango, or the individual packs of dried apricots from Trader Joes.
- Protein Shakes – protein shakes are easy snacks to have on the go and they are super filling. My go-to protein shakes right now are the Chocolate Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Protein Shakes. They are so good! I’ve even started using them as my creamer in my coffee!
- Filling Fruit – if you’re looking for a snack to fill you up and keep you from snacking on something like chips, opt for a fruit that will fill you up like a banana or an apple.
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