Vacations don’t occur just one time each year. If you think about it, people go on vacation all the time. Eating to lose weight is challenging in the best of circumstances, but throw a vacation into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for weight loss trouble. If you are heading out on vacation soon, here’s how to come back home with no food regrets.
I used to look at vacations as a vacation from everything, including losing weight. Many clients I’ve coached and people I speak to felt the same way. One person said to me, “I blew my diet 100 percent when at the beach because I wanted to take a break from being good.”
This is a common way of looking at vacations and dieting, and if that’s how you want to treat your vacation, it’s fine. You can always lose the pounds gained during a vacation food fest.
However, if you are tired of going on vacation, gaining weight you had previously lost, and then having a hard time getting back on track, let me tell you that change is possible.
It’s all about preparation—both mental and physical.
Mentally Preparing to Lose Weight on Vacation
You must begin your vacation preparation with the mentality that weight loss is not only possible while on vacation, but to be expected. Now, you don’t need to try to lose 5 or 10 pounds during a 7-day vacation, but dropping a half a pound to a pound during a week’s vacation is extremely doable and very motivating.
Tell yourself that you can continue losing weight on your vacation. Remind yourself of all the work you have done to lose weight before your vacation; the last thing you want to do is regain weight you’ve already lost.
Physical Preparation for Vacation Weight Loss
The first time I went on a short family vacation while I was in the midst of my successful weight loss, I was concerned I would gain weight. I decided to be proactive before the vacation began and make preparations for a healthy vacation experience.
Here’s what I suggest you do:
1) Pack some healthy snacks to take with you.
If I’m traveling by plane I take sturdy fruits (like apples, pears, and oranges), trail mix, homemade granola bars, and small boxes of dried fruit. If I’m driving I also bring a cooler with yogurt, cheese sticks, boiled eggs, or sandwiches.
2) Contact your host or hostess if you are staying with friends or family.
Take the initiative and have a heart-to-heart talk with the people you are staying with on your vacation. Tell them you really want to stick to your diet and would like to be involved with the cooking and planning process.
3) Make room in your luggage for your workout clothes.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I always bring my workout clothes along with me. Having them packed in your suitcase is a reminder that you are not on vacation from healthy living.
4) Check out gym options or walking paths.
When I get to where I’m going, I look for the fitness center in the hotel or ask my hostess for walking path suggestions. You don’t have to be obsessive about getting in your workout, but knowing where you can work out is a good first step to actually doing one.
5) Go over your daily schedule in your mind, including eating options.
Before you head out on vacation, mentally review your likely schedule. Try to plan ahead for what to eat at restaurants, decide when to fit in a workout, and commit to not snacking unnecessarily.