How to Vacation Without Weight Gain

Woman doing yoga on stand-up paddle board
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Vacations are good for your body and soul, but if you associate travel with nonstop eating, it’s time to adjust your thinking. You can go on vacation without gaining weight. Here's how to return from a trip with plenty of great memories and no excess pounds.

Choose a Vacation That Supports a Healthy Lifestyle

Expand your horizons when it comes to travel destinations! These days, there are wellness resorts, yoga retreats, and other active vacations.

Join a bike tour through unique landscapes, visit a center with spa treatments, fresh meals, and unique fitness classes—plus some R&R by the pool, of course. Sounds ideal to me!

Prioritize Your Splurges

You certainly don’t have to stick to a strict diet when you're traveling for fun. Vacationing is all about enjoyment, and eating in new places can be a blast! Just pick and choose your indulgences.

If you’re in a place like Italy, go for a specialty, like gelato. Don’t waste your calories on a bag of chips that you could eat at home. If you're dining out, ask yourself which you want more: a decadent appetizer or an indulgent dessert. Choose one, and enjoy. Really relish the experience, but don't overdo it.

Plan Ahead

Before you arrive at your travel destination, research the local restaurants and find the best options for you. Really read the menus: the descriptions as well as the names of the dishes.

This way, when you sit down for dinner, you won’t be sent into a tailspin, wondering what you're going to order! Try to avoid massive all-you-can-eat buffets. But if you find yourself at one, be prepared.

BYO Snacks

Successful dieters always have a snack stash on hand. Healthy nibbles will stave off hunger in between meals.

If you snack, when you show up at your next meal, you won't feel famished and risk making impulse decisions. There are so many portable options: jerky, 100-calorie packs of nuts, snack bars, and seaweed chips, to name a few.

Hungry for more? Pack a few road-trip bites, perfect for plane travel!

Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Vacation

There are ways to burn calories that don't even feel like exercise, so that you can stay in shape even while you're on vacation. If you’re exploring a city, forgo the cab and go by foot. It's easier to take in the sites when you're walking as opposed to driving.

Another fun option? Rent bikes! Many cities offer city bikes that you can pick up at one location and drop off elsewhere in the city.

If you’re on a beach vacation, consider water sports. Snorkel, row a boat, hop on a paddleboard, or join in a friendly game of water volleyball. More of a traditionalist? Pack your workout gear, and check out the fitness center in your hotel.

Travel With Like-Minded Friends

Find a travel buddy who thinks like you do, and you're more likely to stick to your goals. Hold each other accountable and motivate one another to stay active and healthy on your vacation. That three-legged race on the beach is calling your name!

Drink Smart

If you plan to booze it up a bit, be smart about what you sip. Moderation is key. Overdoing it with cocktails is a surefire way to derail any good intentions you may have had. (Too many drinks, and you won't be able to resist the midnight chocolate parade on the cruise!)

Beer drinkers: Choose the light options; about 100 calories per serving. Wine is also a good pick, with around 125 calories per glass. When it comes to mixed drinks, the choice is clear: as in clear liquors like vodka or tequila, mixed with calorie-free sodas or club soda.

A great combo? Club soda + a shot of flavored vodka + a splash of fruit juice.

Avoid blended beverages, which are typically loaded with sugar.

Get to Steppin’

Depending on what floor you're on, opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you're really high up, just take a few flights by foot. Bring your step tracker (love my Fitbit!), and try and hit your daily target.

There are all sorts of ways to incorporate walking into your daily life, and when you’re on vacation, getting those steps in is 10 times more fun!

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