Weight loss and vacations are a problem for most dieters as going on vacation tends to mean booze, big meals and lying around doing next to nothing. So what’s the solution?
Pretty simple really…don’t go on vacation! Only kidding 😉
Losing weight whilst on holiday needn’t be a problem if you follow a few simple guidelines and employ a little self-discipline.
Many of our clients keep on losing weight whilst on vacation and over holiday periods like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Whilst weight loss and vacations can be a problem, more of an issue is maintaining your new weight whilst on holiday.
Think of it this way, if you’ve 30 lbs to lose and you lose 1lb a week, it will take you 30 weeks to reach your target weight.
During that period you’re likely to go on no more than one vacation and will maybe have a holiday period like Christmas or Easter in there somewhere.
During your weight maintenance period, eg the rest of your life, you’ll have lots of vacations to deal with!
No matter, employ the same simple strategies whether losing or maintaining your new weight and weight loss and vacations shouldn’t be a problem!
How to Handle Weight Loss and Vacations…
#1. Go Easy When Eating Out
The chances are you’re going to eat out pretty much everyday whilst on vacation. Whether at the hotel you’re staying in, at the beach, on warm evenings in a beachside restaurant…
Take a look at our page on eating out for some strategies for ordering meals that won’t pile on the pounds.
We tend to find that we eat as healthily when on holiday as at home.
For instance, Spanish or any coastal resorts have great fish restaurants.
Order some prawns, scallops or mussels as a starter if you’re having one. Some freshly caught grilled fish as a main course with a salad and some roasted veg. Maybe some fresh fruit as a dessert if you’ve room.
You’ll be eating simple, great tasting, healthy food that won’t add inches to your waistline and will make weight loss and vacations a snap!
#2. Watch Your Alcohol Intake
With around 100 calories in a glass of wine, alcohol is a problem for weight loss and vacations tend to revolve around alcohol for many!
We don’t know about you, but there’s little better and more relaxing than sharing a bottle of good wine outside on a balmy evening.
Living in the UK there’s precious little opportunity to do that. It’s something that we love doing when spending a fortnight in the sun!
If you drink alcohol enjoy it in moderation. Try having a jug of iced water and alternating a sip of wine with a sip of water.
The water will quench your thirst and you’ll end up drinking less wine. You’ll also keep yourself hydrated and be less likely to have a sore head the next day!
#3. Build Some Activity into Your Vacation
If you’re going on a walking holiday or canoeing down the Amazon that won’t be a problem!
However for most people, holidays spell lying by a pool or on the beach soaking up the rays. Granted there’s a pool, but who uses it for more than cooling off?
The chances are that you will have built some exercise into your weight loss program- right? – so doing some exercise on vacation shouldn’t be a problem.
If your hotel, apartment complex or cruise ship has a gym then use it.
If not then do the best weight loss exercise of all – walk!
Now we don’t mean wandering around the shops. A brisk 30 minute walk is more like it.
You burn off around 100 calories a mile walking, so can easily burn 300 calories, most of it fat in 30 minutes.
Shelly, one of our clients, puts on a bikini and a pair of trainers, slaps on the sun tan lotion and power walks along the beach with her partner. She calls it “active sunbathing”.
She tops up her tan and burns a few calories at the same time. How easy is that! Shelley’s got weight loss and vacations sorted and so can you.
#4. Eat Breakfast
You know what it’s like, you get up late, lounge around and before you know it it’s lunchtime.
Make a point of eating something for breakfast. Some fruit, cereal, a smoothie, something healthy from the hotel buffet.
Eating breakfast, particularly some protein fires up your metabolism so you’re burning more calories from earlier in the day.
#5 Don’t Forget to Eat Something Every 3-4 hours
If you don’t, your metabolism drops and you go from fat burning to fat storing mode. You’re also more likely to overeat at lunctime or your evening meal.
Some people think they’re being good skipping breakfast and lunch. But your body needs feeding and if it doesn’t get what it needs it will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy.
Not good for weight loss or weight maintenance.
#6. Watch Out for Big Meals
Christmas Dinner, Thanksiving Day Lunch, a cruise ship banquet…they all make weight loss and vacations a challenge.
Most holidays and vacations revolve around a feast of some sort. The temptation to overeat is never far away, in fact it’s almost expected!
Christmas Dinner is potentially the healthiest meal of the year. Turkey is a lean source of protein, there’s plenty of veg. Just go easy on the roast potatoes, skim the fat off the gravy and you’re sorted.
Eating lots of food in one go or spread over several courses is never a good idea. But one day won’t make much difference.
Think of it this way. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. To put on a pound of fat in one day you’d have to eat 3,500 calories on top of what your body needs, say 2,000 calories.
5,500 calories in one day? For most people that ain’t going to happen.
One meal, one day…neither will make much difference to your weight, so exercise a little moderation and enjoy! Then get back on track the next day.
So, Weight Loss and Vacations…
…Are not mutually exclusive. You can lose weight or maintain your new weight when on vacation if you employ the same simple strategies as you do when following a healthy weight loss plan.
The bottom line is that holidays are to be enjoyed. Weight loss and vacations do not need to spell deprivation and tortuous, irresistible temptation.
Enjoy yourself. However, if you come home the same weight when you went, or a few pounds lighter, you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more!
Employ a few common sense strategies and weight loss and vacations needn’t be a problem ever again.