No matter where you go on vacation, the one thing you always do is sample the local fare. Whether it’s Southern barbeque, a Philly cheesesteak, or bangers and mash, you just have to give it a try. After all, you can’t get authentic New York pizza unless you’re in New York.
But after days, and possibly weeks, of sampling every dish that your destination has to offer, it should come as no surprise when your jeans begin to feel tight or when the seatbelt feels a bit too snug around your middle. In order to avoid that inevitable weight gain, try following these 10 tips while on vacation.
Don’t Eat At Airport Restaurants
You may be tempted to grab some food at an airport restaurant to tide you over during the flight, but this is not a good idea. As with any food court, the healthy choices are few and far between, and you may be tempted to grab something easy to eat like a greasy cheeseburger or an ice cream cone. But just because you’re at an airport, doesn’t mean that the vacation has started yet, so save those extra calories for the trip.
Pack Healthy Snacks
If you know you’re going to be hungry before your flight or while on the road trip, pack some healthy snacks like nuts and fruit so you aren’t tempted to stop at fast-food restaurants along the way, or chow down on in-flight meals and snacks, which aren’t always the healthiest. If you’re having a tough time packing healthy travel snacks for your little ones, check out 10 Easy And Healthy Road Trip Snacks For Kids.
Balance Indulgence With Diligence
It’s OK to indulge in a treat or two while traveling, but make sure that every meal doesn’t turn into an indulgence. There’s nothing wrong with having a few buttery croissants for breakfast, but just make sure that you balance that out by eating fewer calories at the next meal. You may want to keep a food diary while you travel to keep track of what you’re eating, or you may want to find a food buddy who can help keep you in check. In fact, it may be helpful to share meals with your food buddy. You can order a healthy meal while your food buddy orders an indulgent meal and both of you can split each dish.
Sample, Sample, Sample
It may be mandatory to try a classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich when you’re in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat the entire thing. Why not split the sandwich? You should always try to split whatever you’re snacking on with someone else – that way, you can still try the food, but you won’t be taking in all of those extra calories.
Book A Room With A Kitchen
When most people go on vacation, they want to book a room with a view. But if you want to avoid vacation weight gain, book a room with a kitchen instead. Studies show that people who eat at restaurants more often tend to gain more weight, so if you have a kitchen handy, you can skip some of the restaurants on your trip and cook your own, healthier meals instead.
Pick Your Meal Ahead Of Time
If you can’t afford a room with a kitchen, but don’t want to eat out for every meal, plan your meals ahead. Stop by a local deli or grocery store and pick up some sandwiches or pre-made salads to eat later. While you’re there, you can also pick up some healthy snacks so you won’t have to rely on the hotel vending machines for something to munch on during the evening.
Stay Active On Your Trip
Don’t rent a car to drive through the Italian countryside, bike through it instead. By incorporating physical activities into your trip, you’ll burn off some of the calories you spent indulging in gelato and fettucine Alfredo. If you have a daily exercise routine, don’t skip it just because you’re on vacation. Set aside 15 minutes in the mornings or afternoons to get in that exercise. If you’re looking for tips and ideas on how to exercise when you’re traveling abroad, you should read Hotel Room Workouts: Exercising While You Travel.
It’s easy to become dehydrated when biking, hiking or exercising, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid drinks that contain a lot of alcohol, sugar and caffeine as they can act as diuretics. Plus, they’re full of the extra calories that you want to avoid.
Avoid The Buffet
“All-You-Can-Eat” may sound like the best thing in the world, but that’s not the case if you’re worried about vacation weight gain. With so many tempting choices, it can be very difficult to go to a buffet and only choose a salad, or some vegetables and a piece of lean meat. So skip it altogether and eat at a regular restaurant, or make your own meal instead.
Pick A Non-Food Vacation Destination
It can also be difficult to avoid the buffet when you’re in a buffet-centric destination, such as Las Vegas. So, if you really want to avoid gaining a few extra pounds, stay away from food-oriented places such as cruises, and food and wine festivals.
Follow these simple tips to keep the pounds off on your next out-of-town vacation. Your waistline will thank you and you won’t have to worry about hitting the gym once you get back home.