For many of us, vacation is a time to relax, explore, see friends or relatives, and eat good food. But, this break from routine can pose a challenge to your diet. A week of overeating and not exercising can derail your food and fitness goals.
The good news is you don't have to leave your diet at home. With a little planning, you can enjoy yourself and not pack on the pounds.
Here are seven tips that will help you maintain your weight during your time away.
Get Ready Mentally
Before you leave, decide how you want to manage your diet. Pack your exercise clothes and set small goals. Once you hit that tropical shore, running may be the last thing on your mind. But because you decided to be active every day, you might find it easier to get moving. Also, enlist the help of your partner. This way, they will try a salad with you or join you on your morning hike.
Eating small snacks between meals will help you not overdo it at mealtime. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests vegetables, whole-grain crackers, trail mix, or raw or dry-roasted nuts. Fresh fruit like bananas, apples and pears, or even boxed raisins, are also convenient snacks. Buy some of these snacks before you leave on vacation, but don't forget to stop by a local grocery store or farmer's market once you arrive at your destination.
If you have access to a fridge, purchase your favorite healthy cereal, milk and fruit. Starting your morning off right can dictate the rest of the day. Not only will you save money, but you will also save in calories. If you don't have a fridge, try instant oatmeal or a breakfast bar.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation and Avoid Sugary Beverages
Margaritas are synonymous with a day at the beach. But, sometimes a single cocktail has more than 500 calories. You can still drink, but try light beer or a glass of red wine. And stay hydrated. Liven up plain water with lemons or limes, or order sparkling water. Don't forget about fruit teas and sugar-free lemonade.
If you can walk to your destination, do it. Staying with mom? Have her watch the kids while you go out for a morning jog. If you're in the mountains, go for a hike. At the lake? Swim. Many hotels have exercise centers and some even offer classes like poolside yoga.
You might even take to social media to find a running, cycling or walking tour of the city you're visiting. For example, in Paris, Nike conducts weekly running tours of the city at 8 p.m. You get a chance to meet locals and fellow tourists from around the world, and get your exercise in while learning about the city for free.