How to Enjoy your Vacation without Gaining Weight!
I’m excited to leave for Italy in a few weeks, in what promises to be an amazing trip away. That said, I want to enjoy my trip and come back with souvenirs, not a few extra pounds around the middle! So while packing my bags I’ve compiled my top tips for enjoying your vacation without packing on the pounds…
- Bring food for your room, or find a grocery store. Don’t hit the mini bar, room service or a vending machine. It’s expensive and usually awful for you. Stock your room with a case of water, fresh apples (they travel well), raw nuts, veggies, some stevia and almond or coconut creamer for your coffee. Maybe a bar of good dark chocolate or some air popped popcorn if you need a treat stashed away.
- Bring snacks for the plane/train/car. The options at the airport are FAR better than they used to be, but don’t make yourself hunt for something healthy. Pack a salad with grilled chicken, lemon wedges and some fruits and veggies. If you’re fortunate enough to fly first or business class request a vegan or gluten free meal so you have some healthier options.We love to keep packets of almond butter and an apple in our purse for a quick snack.
- Walk as much as you can. The best way to truly get to know a place is on foot, and it helps offset the extra treats along the way! If it’s a safe walk and the weather cooperates always explore on foot. If you have kids with you, plan on more breaks or push them in a stroller or baby carrier.
- Plan your Meals. Thank god for the internet- even small town restaurants post their menus online. Decide ahead of time what you think you’ll have. Don’t book an over-the-top meal every day. Space out any bigger meals with some lighter stops.
- Keep it simple. Look for places that use local ingredients and bring out their best flavor. Grilled fish or chicken over veggies or a beautiful salad can be just as satisfying as a heavy sauce-laden (and regret-laden!) dish. Look for restaurants that cater to vegetarians and vegans or have gluten free options- typically they have more interesting healthy food and are accustomed to making dietary accommodations.
- Try the local cuisine – but only what works for you. During this trip I’ll also be in Vienna, known for dishes like Weiner schnitzel and sausages. Sorry, breaded fried veal is just not appealing to me. Maybe I’ll try their potato soup, but I’m not chowing down on some liver dumplings just because it’s “known for it”.
- Go in a little lean. I try to preventatively shed 2-3 lbs before a big vacation so I have a little buffer. Our 28 day Tune Up is perfect for vacation prep (or to undo vacation damage!)
- Split, share or taste. If you’re dying to have a particular dish that may not be the healthiest choice- get an order for the table and serve yourself a small portion on a bread plate. Make your entree a green salad and skip the dessert.
- Watch the booze. Always the fast track to ruin! Especially in tropical climates they can be laden with sugary juices, mixers, and coconut cream. A mudslide has close to 800 calories and a whopping 83 grams of sugar! Stick to clear cocktails like vodka soda or tequila and soda with lots of lime. Always ask to hold the simple syrup or agave and add in a pinch of stevia (we bring our own packets to every restaurant).
- You can have it all- just not all at once. If you have been eating a pretty clean diet, sitting down to a pasta with cream sauce, bottle of wine, and ice cream topped cake for dessert is going to send your body into a serious state of misery. Not to mention you can’t possibly truly enjoy food the way it’s meant to be savored if you gorge all at once. Try some local wine with a clean dinner one night, split a dessert with your kids a few nights later- spacing out a few small indulgences makes them far more enjoyable.
- Start the day off right. What is it with these crazy all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets? You have a full day of vacation relaxation ahead of you, so a big breakfast may be in order, but make it a clean one. A veggie omelet hold the cheese, or a big fruit plate and some espresso is a perfect start to the day. Trust us, it can only go downhill from there- you are going to want to save those splurges for later.
- Plan your Indulgence. I know I want to try gelato when I’m in Rome. It won’t be every day, it won’t be a three scoop mess, but a scoop of pistachio has my name written all over it. A little Googling and I found a place that supposedly has the best pistachio gelato in Rome. It happens to be about a mile from my hotel through a pretty park and bridge. So I’ll walk there, get a scoop and walk back taking in the sights and enjoying an amazing treat.
- Work Out on Vacation. My husband got me into this. I never used to exercise on vacation- truly looking at it as a time to only relax. Problem is, that’s a good way to pack on the pounds, and lose momentum from all your hard work! So I pack gym clothes and sneakers. If the hotel doesn’t have a gym I email the concierge to find a local gym or place where I can go for a run. If you have kids with you leverage the kids’ club if there is one, and make time for you. Or take turns with your spouse so each of you gets a workout in.
- Hydrate! Bring a water bottle everywhere and chug, chug. Travel dehydrates you, then add in higher-sodium foods and alcohol and your body is running on fumes. Fill up on lemon water and you’ll feel much better.
- Eating food you don’t want is still wasting it! Don’t finish your food just because it’s there. Enjoy your food mindfully and make sure every bite is worth it.
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