Summer is finally here, and you want to relax and enjoy your well-earned vacation, which is totally UNDERSTANDABLE! But how can you keep from sabotaging your weight-loss success this summer? How can you avoid packing on the pounds without feeling restricted or deprived?
Here are 6 strategies to help you enjoy your vacation without gaining weight.
1. Watch out for liquid calories
Sodas, juices and alcohol are okay when consumed in moderation. Drinking is popular on vacation because the weather is hot, everyone is having fun, and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting.
But be careful! Those liquid calories can really add up; although a drink may not be loaded with calories, it’s unlikely that you’ll stop at just one.
If you’re trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to be mindful of the number of drinks you consume.
Note: no amount of alcohol is good for your health.
2. Remember, the customer is king!
When we’re on vacation, we tend to eat in restaurants more often. Don’t forget that you’re the customer, and you’re entitled to express your requirements without feeling bad and coming off as rude!
Based on your desires, needs, and goals, you can ask which side dish comes with the entrée, if it can be substituted for a healthier choice, if a sauce or dressing can be served on the side, etc.
Of course these tips apply only if you frequently eat out at restaurants. If you eat out only occasionally, then don’t worry. A side order of fries won’t sabotage your progress.
3. Prioritize protein and fiber
When we’re on vacation, we tend to increase our fat and sugar intake (we can’t do without our ice cream and donuts!).i
Protein and fiber help regulate appetite and curb hunger. Protein helps maintain muscle mass gains and fiber promotes healthy digestive function.
However, come vacation time, we usually tend to ignore protein and fiber, which is the opposite of what we should do!
It’s basically a matter of frequency. If you go to dinner parties, barbecues or restaurants only occasionally, then you can indulge without feeling guilty. However, if this is part of your daily routine, then you need to make mindful choices…
4. Stop punishing yourself
Many people tend to punish themselves for cheating on diets or overindulging. It’s a bad idea to punish yourself with extreme measures. These include depriving yourself of food, fasting, taking laxatives, self-induced vomiting, overexercising…
No, no, and no! This type of behavior is unhealthy because it can lead to eating disorders.
Moderation is key.
I recommend reading the article “How to eat without counting calories ” which explains simple strategies for creating a balanced plate!
For example, if you’re at a restaurant and want to treat yourself, choose an appetizer, entrée, or dessert that makes you happy, and then balance the rest of the meal with healthy options. In my case, I rarely opt for an appetizer (unless there’s a burrata to share). I generally choose an entrée that will provide me with essential nutrients (a source of protein, a source of carbohydrates, and some vegetables), and then I splurge on dessert.
In this way, I meet my nutrient needs AND satisfy my cravings, without overindulging.
5. You alone have control over the choices you make
It doesn’t matter what others think or say. If you don’t drink alcohol, or if you don’t want to eat certain foods, that’s your choice.
There will always be someone pressuring you to eat or drink, arguing that it’s summer, that you need to unwind, etc. However, remember, you don’t have to say yes. If you really don’t want to have something, you don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed; own your choices and your actions!
Of course, if you want to indulge, don’t deprive yourself. As we’ve just mentioned, it’s a matter of moderating the amount and frequency of your intake.
6. Dance, swim, get moving, have fun. You’re on vacation after all!
When it comes to vacations, there are two types of people: those who like to lounge on the beach all day, and those who are always on the move.
Guess which group I belong to! 😉
I’m not saying you have to be super active. Simply make sure to incorporate some physical activity into your vacation.
- A hike
- A game of beach volleyball.
- A surf lesson.
- A bike ride,
For sports enthusiasts, the Fitness Coach app will give you access to your training program in the palm of your hand. The timing is perfect because our summer programs have just been released, and I can assure you that they will burn a maximum of calories in no time (check out our HIIT and Tabata workouts!).
Lastly, you can increase your N.E.A.T while having fun. If you don’t know what N.E.A.T. is, make sure to read this article.
When we’re on vacation, we tend to completely change our lifestyle habits. We have a little more time to let loose and enjoy ourselves, get moving, dance, etc. And this is a good thing because all these activities burn calories. So, this summer, don’t hold back! Dance and have fun!
What’s on your agenda this summer? What have you planned? Are you a “do nothing” or a “get moving” type of vacationer?