All things Siesta Key. Stories, news, and event information about Sarasota, Florida's beautiful beach.
How To Avoid Weight Gain While On Vacation Anywhere
Great Advice for All! Thanks.
Vacation is a time to indulge, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your healthy eating habits fall to the wayside.
We asked nutritionist and author Rachel Meltzer Warren what you can do while traveling to avoid gaining weight.
Keep scrolling to see her tips for staying healthy while still enjoying yourself.
Find the local supermarket and stock up on some basics.
When you first arrive at your destination, Meltzer Warren suggests staking out the local supermarket and buying a few basics. For example, if your go-to breakfast at home is oatmeal, buy a few packs along with some fresh fruit, so that you’re not relying on your hotel’s breakfast buffet every day.
Always carry snacks.
While you’re at the supermarket, make sure to stock up on snacks as well. Meltzer Warren says you’re more likely to stop for an unhealthy snack when you’re on vacation (who isn’t going to get a scoop of gelato when hungers hits and you’re in Italy?), which can be avoided if you have something to eat on hand.
Meltzer Warren recommends choosing snacks that are filled with fiber and protein, like packets of nuts, packets of nut butter (which you can pair with fruit), and granola bars that are low in sugar.
“I’m always looking, snack-wise, for something with some protein and some fiber in it because that’s going to help make you feel satisfied, and stabilize your blood sugar so that you’re not ravenous by the time you get to the next meal,” she says.
Look at restaurants and their menus ahead of time.
If you wait until you’re starving at the end of a long day of sightseeing to choose a restaurant for dinner, chances are you’re going to end up at a place that’s not exactly diet-friendly. Instead, Meltzer Warren suggests taking the time to research some restaurants ahead of time, which will allow you to pick a place that has healthier options.
Start a restaurant meal with a healthy appetizer.
Eating out more often on vacation doesn’t have to translate into overeating at every meal. Meltzer Warren says that starting a meal with a filling but healthy soup or salad is the key to eating less throughout your meal. Eating an appetizer will ensure that you’re not starving by the time your entree arrives.
Just be sure to stay away from cream-based soups, as these are usually extremely caloric.
Choose one cheat food.
Meltzer Warren has what she calls “the rule of three.” She advises her clients to decide between bread, wine, and dessert when eating out on vacation.
“Just choosing one of those three can help keep your caloric intake at that meal more moderate. If you do all three every day for lunch and dinner, that starts to add up,” she says.
Take advantage of your hotel gym.
While you may have to walk or drive to your gym back home, the best part about a hotel gym is that getting there simply involves rolling out of bed and throwing on some workout clothes.
Meltzer Warren says that even if you’re only squeezing in 20 minutes of exercise, it’s still better than nothing, and totally worth it. She recommends waking up a little earlier and doing it in the morning in order to get it out of the way.
Make an effort to walk places.
If the gym isn’t your thing, try walking instead. Depending on what kind of vacation you’re taking, you might not even need to make much of an effort to walk places — it’ll happen naturally as you’re sightseeing.
In fact, Meltzer Warren says that many of her clients end up losing weight on vacation for this exact reason: they’re walking everywhere instead of spending most of their day sitting at a desk.
Limit drinking to one part of the day.
According to Meltzer Warren, drinking too much alcohol while on vacation presents two issues.
- Alcohol has calories, especially the elaborate cocktails you tend to drink on vacation, like creamy piña coladas.
- The more drinks you have, the more likely you are to throw caution to the wind and indulge in other things, like food. It’s hard to say no to cheesy nachos when you’re a few drinks deep.
In order to avoid these issues, Meltzer Warren suggests limiting alcohol to one part of the day. If you’d like a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, for example, then maybe skip tropical drinks on the beach during the day.
Meltzer Warren says that it’s common for our bodies to mistake thirst for hunger. For this reason, it’s a good idea to always carry a water bottle while traveling and sip as needed. This way, you’ll avoid dehydration and mistaken hunger pangs.