You might be one of those many people who comes back from an extended vacation with "vacation weight gain" wondering why you’ve suddenly added on more than a few pounds. There are actually a lot of important underlying reasons why so many of us gain weight “on holiday” – learning about some of them can actually help you prepare to beat vacation weight gain with good pre-planning and anticipation of challenges.
- Away From Your Kitchen – If you’re like many people handling a weight loss plan, your kitchen is your diet headquarters. It’s where you keep all of the neat foods that you use to substitute for the high-fat, high-sugar and hi-cal stuff you will often find out on the road. It may be hard to travel with your favorite health foods, but packing some less perishable healthy snacks in your suitcase can go a long way.
- No Gym – Although good food choices are important for a diet, no weight loss plan is really complete without exercise. The problem is, you won’t have access to your regular fitness area when you’re away. Unless you can find an alternative workout spot, your fitness schedule may suffer.
- Social Eating – Vacation is often a time to relax with family and friends, and that’s definitely a good thing! It’s just that lots of these social interactions center around food, and although you may be on a diet, those who you’re close to may not be. That leads to “social participation” in some less healthy meals, and since high calorie food is one of those things that our culture generally accepts (and even promotes) you can find yourself downing a lot more “junk food” when you are hanging out in a larger group, especially on a vacation.
- Tourist Traps – The restaurants and stores that you may find at the top vacation spots are usually not in the business of selling health food. If you look closely, a lot of these businesses are selling “comfort food” where the goal is to make things taste good, regardless of calorie or fat content. That means you might be constantly tempted by some of the most diet-crashing items when you’re in these “tourist spots.”
- Lack of Routine – You may not think about it this way, but a lot of successful dieters rely quite a bit on routine. It may be a large part of what gives you that level of motivation that you need to stick to a healthy diet or weight loss plan. When you’re on vacation, part of the idea is skipping your usual routine and cutting loose. That often means your diet will suffer. However, that’s not necessarily the way it has to be. Finding a good middle ground between having fun and maintaining your fitness goals can put you on track to staying on your health kick during your vacation and coming back home without a whole lot of extra pounds.
Keep all of the above in mind when you’re packing for your next trip away from home.