Studies show that more than half of Americans will take a summer vacation. Many of those vacations will be in August and early September. The health and psychological benefits of stepping away from your work to take a vacation are myriad. Most of us can’t wait for vacation, but be forewarned that vacation weight is one of the few downfalls of a summer getaway. Comments on Trip Advisor show an average weight gain of 2-3 pounds during a 9-day vacation.
But a little knowledge and just a bit of discipline can help you ward off vacation weight gain this summer as you take your well-deserved respite.
Here are 11 ways you can avoid bringing home extra vacation weight (those heavy souvenirs that are hard to lose):
- Make sure to pack some healthy snacks. Fruit, nuts, seeds, or maybe a protein bar can help stave off hunger for junk food while you travel.
- Walk. At the airport, walk, don’t take the elevator or the escalator. Walk the length of the concourse as you people watch and wait for your flight.
- Stay away from the breakfast buffet – or at least be very, very picky if you don’t. Choose oatmeal, fresh fruit, or yogurt. Avoid the make-your-own waffles, avoid the cinnamon rolls. Better yet, book a room with a kitchenette and make your own meals.
- Bring your workout with you: jump rope, running shoes, sports bra, yoga mat. You know what you need, make sure you bring it!
- Plan for fitness. Know the location and hours of the nearest gym, yoga studio, swimming pool. Sign up for a class or buy a pass ahead of time. That bit of financial commitment will boost the likelihood you’ll fulfill your fitness commitment.
- Avoid all-inclusive resorts. All-inclusive tends to include too many buffets and too many fruity cocktails with paper umbrellas. Also, having to walk (or ride a bicycle) to the nearest restaurant or grocery store builds in some time and mindfulness between meals.
- Plan ahead when dining out. Check out the restaurant’s menu online, make some good, healthy decisions before you’re even seated at your table. Choose the mostly simply prepared entrees.
- Get enough sleep. Enough sleep is related to happiness and healthy brain function. Healthy exercise, good judgement, and detox all depend upon getting enough sleep – even on vacation!
- Use sun protection. Sunburn can lead to melanoma, but it can also lead to laziness. Recovering from a sunburn can tether you to the A/C and keep you indoors. Also sunburn causes dehydration; we often mistake hunger for dehydration and can overeat as a result.
- Hydrate and stay hydrated. We’ve got some delicious low-calories ideas.
- Make exercise part of the fun! Kayak, hike, swim, run on the beach, play games, have fun!