Have you ever noticed the tendency to add copious amounts of blubber to your midsection in mere days while on vacation? It’s the kind of girth one would expect to add over weeks of overeating, but certainly not days. I am talking about 5 and even 10 lbs in a week or less. I have done it and I know you have too. Many people take vacation time in the winter months to hot destinations. Now is the time to prepare and plan ahead.
Vacations are supposed to be fun, no restrictions, no limits, just all out debauchery. Unfortunately, as you age, your body no longer has the ability to bounce back from night after night of beer pong, jello shots and triple helpings at the buffet table. You end up feeling like crap and looking even worse on the beach the next morning. That is if you can muster the strength to drag yourself out of bed before noon. These types of vacations are a thing of the past for me and I hope they are for you too. If you are one of those people who still struggles to find the balance between indulging a little bit and having an all out free for all, then these tips are a must read:
- Don’t drink your calories. Avoid those fruity alcoholic drinks that they serve by the pool or the docks. They are loaded with sugar. Have 3 or 4 of them and you are looking at 2 to 3 meals worth of calories right there. Instead, opt for a vodka on the rocks or some sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime. Still refreshing and palatable and nowhere near the calorie content.
- Stay active and busy in between meals. That way you are burning calories and you have much less time to eat and think about eating. I typically lose weight on holiday, because I am always on my feet. Try going for long walks and explore the new place you’re visiting. If it is a beach or pool holiday, get active. Start a game of water polo or chase your kids around in the pool. Avoid laying or sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. That’s when you get into trouble.
- When you sit down to eat at the buffet table, eat your meat and vegetables first before you reach for the starchy carbohydrates. Protein and fibre are satiating, making you less likely to crave starches and sugars. Another trick I learned from a colleague is to drink a tall glass of water before you take a bite of your meal and have another one as soon as you have finished. Chances are you will be full by then. Quite often we confuse thirst with hunger. Don’t make that mistake. If you are still legitimately hungry after your second glass, then go for another helping.
- Bring snacks in your suitcase. I find having some nuts, a piece of fruit or a high quality protein bar to be life savers for me on any trip. I need to eat something every 2 to 3 hours or else I turn into the devil incarnate. Snacks keep your blood sugar stable and they avoid binges at meal time. If I go 5 or 6 hours without food, you can bet I will be eating enough for a family of five at dinner time. So plan ahead and make sure you have enough snacks to keep you going for each day that you are away.