Vacation Weight: 11 Ways to Avoid it

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bring your workout with you: jump rope, running shoes, sports bra, yoga mat. You know what you need, make sure you bring it!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. Hydrate and stay hydrated. We’ve got some delicious low-calories ideas.
  11. Make exercise part of the fun! Kayak, hike, swim, run on the beach, play games, have fun!