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Nobody wants to diet while traveling, but we also don’t want to arrive home heavier than we were when we left. It seems like the perfect time to indulge, it doesn’t feel like real life. The problem with vacation weight gain is, what happens to get into our stomach on vacation, unfortunately, doesn’t stay on vacation!
We have to stay conscious of what we eat and drink and balance it with how much exercise we are getting, just like at home. When I worked on the yacht in Roatan, the owners asked me to stop creating fantastic desserts for them because they preferred to avoid sugar while traveling, just like they did at home.
Set Realistic Goals
Unless you are vacationing at The Biggest Loser Ranch, this isn’t the time to try to lose weight. If you are in Mexico, and you know you won’t be able to resist the flan, order something lighter for dinner, like fish tacos, or veggie fajitas. Skip the fatty beans and lardy tortillas. Have a little of the rice and eat the sizzling veggies and chicken as if it was a stir fry. There are always healthy options on the menu or buffet.
If working out is part of your normal life, plan on continuing it on your trip. Most resorts have a gym of some sort, but this is also a great time to try something different. Take tennis or surf lessons. You can do your sightseeing on foot in most cities. Go for a run on the beach.
It’s easy if you plan active vacations, like a liveaboard dive boat, a snowboarding trip, walking or hiking trips, biking, or dude ranches. There are so many fun things to do on your time off, whether you are traveling alone or with your family.
Plan Healthy Snacks
Whenever possible carry healthy snacks with you when you travel and pick some up at a grocery store when you arrive. I always carry a sandwich and a banana or an apple on the plane since they rarely provide anything nutritious anymore. I also take a bag of almonds and some granola bars or trail mix to keep in my hotel room. If possible, I get to a local grocery store and pick up some fruit for my room too. That way, I can have a healthy snack between meals and keep my blood sugar regulated. I have always found that eating at regular intervals keeps me from getting stressed.
Eat Meals Before You Get Too Hungry
Sometimes when you’re having fun it’s hard to stop playing and go get ready to eat. If you wait too long and are famished by the time you get to the dining room, chances are you are going to overeat. Plan your day so that you stop for meals at reasonable times. Enjoy a nutritious breakfast, and have a big satisfying lunch, but go light at night, especially if you end up eating late.
If I don’t make it out to eat before 7pm, I usually just get a soup or a salad. Eating a heavy or rich meal late at night usually leaves me feeling lethargic the next morning. We don’t process food as efficiently at night as we do in the daytime. If we go to bed with a belly full of food, we may not sleep as well because our bodies are working so hard to digest.