Summer is here. For many of us that means weeks (or months) of dieting and extra trips to the gym to “get in shape” for our summer vacation. We cut the carbs, suffer through bowls of dressing free lettuce, trade our lattes for black coffee, and schlog through hours of treadmill interval workouts just so we can look good in our swimsuit, only to ruin our hard won efforts as soon as we reach our destination.
Summer vacation does not have to mean weight gain. Implementing 3 simple techniques can help you maintain your pre-vaca physique. All without giving up the food and fun of your trip.
Technique #1 – Eat slowly
Taking time to eat slowly and savor your meals can help prevent overeating. Research shows that people who eat slowly and mindfully, aka focusing on what you’re eating, consume fewer calories than individuals who scarf down a meal. Take time to enjoy every meal. You are on vacation after all, why not make the most of each moment including meal time.
Technique 1A – Take a bite of food then put your fork down. Savor the bite. How does it taste? What flavors do you notice? Do you even like it? If not, stop eating it. Chew slowly, swallow, take a breath, repeat.
Technique #2 – Eat until 80% full
Vacation often offers the opportunity to partake of foods we normally would not eat at home. Unfortunately, we often over do it by justifying it’s ok because we are “on vacation”. This is a sure way to regain pre-vacation weight losses. Eating until your a 80% full allows you to enjoy your favorite vacation foods while reducing the amount of calories you would ordinarily ingest. This applies to alcohol and sugary beverages as well. For example, if you would normally drink 3-4 alcohol drinks per day on vacation cut it back to 2-3 (or less).
Technique 2A – Ordering a variety of appetizers rather than an entree is a terrific way to sample all the culinary delights your destination has to offer while allowing you to eat smaller portions.
Technique #3 – Keep Moving
Vacation time can be a terrific excuse to skip your workouts, but it is those workouts that got you into summer shape to begin with, so don’t ditch them entirely. You don’t have to hit the gym. Walking can be a great way to burn calories while on vacation. Try walking to dinner rather than taking a cab, take a walking tour of the city, bike ride through the countryside, kayak around the lake, splash and play in the hotel pool, or create a 10-15 min HIIT routine you can do in your hotel room. Being active for 15-20 minutes or more each day while you are on vacation can go a long way in preventing vacation weight gain.
Staying healthy and keeping your weight in check while on vacation does not have to mean giving up trying and enjoying new foods or spending time locked inside the gym. Adding these 3 techniques to your vacation itinerary can insure you look as good (or better) after your trip as you did before.
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Have a happy, healthy vacation!!