Staying on Track During Your Vacation
6/20/2012 9:49:00 AM
Summer is vacation time for many of us. I just got back from my vacation - 2 weeks in 5 different European countries, sampling all kinds of delicious food and subsequently gaining a healthy 5 pounds. I am now consumed with trying to take off those pounds while making mental notes on what I could have done differently.
One of the things I was looking forward to during my vacation was trying different desserts in those countries, particularly my all-time favorite: cookies. I did indeed try many new things and way too much of some of them. But I learned that there is nothing in the world like crisp, pure butter Scottish shortbread or a warm Linzer torte from a Salzburg bakery. So while I enjoyed these new foods immensely, I have some plans for myself for next time so I don’t have to pay a price for this enjoyment.
If you are going on vacation this summer and are looking for a balance between eating well while also enjoying the food on vacation, here are my top three tips to help you do just that.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the reasons we tend to gain weight during vacation is that travel reduces our food choices, limiting our meals to airports, flight meals, restaurants and fast food. When I travel, I always pack a bag of food that will clear security at the airport while providing me with some healthy options to hold me over between meals. My bag will usually consist of a banana, bag of almonds, cheese stick and granola bars.
2. Limit Your Portions
I absolutely hate leaving food on my plate in a restaurant, so I tend to take my leftovers home. When I am traveling, however, this is not an option, so I sometimes overeat because I don’t want to waste food. On this past trip, I actually practiced leaving half the food on my plate and asking the server to take the plate away so I wouldn’t continue to pick at it. This worked great and allowed me to try different foods without over-indulging.
3. Enjoy What You Eat!
You’re on vacation and deserve to relax and enjoy your food without constantly counting calories and avoiding certain foods. If you make a point to really enjoy your food by focusing on quality and not quantity, this will definitely add to your vacation without necessarily adding to your waistline.
|Be moderate in everything, including moderation.
|- Horace Porter
By the way, despite a little weight gain, I also did many things right on my vacation because I planned ahead: I wore my pedometer and clocked over 6 miles on average of walking every day. When I tried a new food, I limited myself to one serving while completely enjoying the new tastes. I also made sure I got plenty of rest and drank several bottles of water every day.
So because I was successful in some areas, I didn’t mind that I gained a little weight — it was worth it. Vacation is a time to rest and reboot, so giving in here or there is not unreasonable as long as you plan it out and control it. Then enjoy it and let it be a part of your vacation!
Until next time, happy & healthy eating to you!