Often, after a long vacation, you may discover that you’ve gained, five, ten, or even fifteen pounds. Unfortunately, this unplanned weight gain can often lead to the development of obesity. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. This article will provide you with some basic guidelines to keep in mind while on vacation–guaranteed to stop, or at least slow, those extra pounds from creeping up on your body.
Walk, Don’t Drive
Obviously, you will have to take some mode of transportation to your vacation site. But the mistake that you might make while on vacation is that you might stay in your car, boat, or bus instead of exploring the destination on foot. While it can be tempting to sit inside a comfy tour bus while learning about historical spots on your vacation destination, you will probably learn more (and gain less weight) by exploring the location on foot. Many popular tourist spots now also provide bike rentals, and can even give you biking tours of certain towns or destinations.
Skip the Alcohol
A lot of people use their vacation time as a free ticket to drink all the liquor that they can find–and then they’re surprised when they come home and have gained ten pounds. Alcohol typically contains seven calories per gram, nearly twice that of carbohydrates or protein. In addition, research has found that high amounts of liquor consumption often lead to overeating, typically of fatty or high calorie “bar foods” that you might otherwise not have chosen. Finally, drinking too much can cause you sleep-in the next morning, preventing you from getting the physical activity need to burn off those extra calories.
Vacations can wreck havoc on your diet–you’re away from home, you can’t prepare your own foods, and you may end up choosing items you would normally avoid. Unfortunately, those cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes that you ate on vacation are going home with you. Don’t use your vacation as an excuse to eat foods that you would normally avoid while at home. Try to stick to your regular eating pattern–and while it can be difficult to prepare your own meals while on vacation, you can still make healthy choices while out at restaurants. Your waistline will thank you later!
One final tip for vacationers who are in a foreign country–most countries outside of the United States typically have foods that are relatively healthy. Unfortunately, tourism has caused them to alter their traditional fare, making it more “Americanized” by adding cheese, fat, and salt. While on vacation outside of the United States, avoid the typical tourist-trap restaurants, and try to find a place that local residents fancy. These restaurants will typically have the most “native” food, and it will most likely be lower in fat, calories, and sodium than the ones geared towards vacationers. You may even make some new friends in the process!