5 Tips for Maintaining a Weight Loss Regimen While on Vacation

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Travel Tips | 10 comments

Planning a vacation is an exhilarating time, especially when it comes to anticipating all the freedom you will enjoy. However, too much freedom may derail certain lifestyle choices you have made, such as if you are trying to lose weight. An extended vacation may be great for the soul but tough on the waistline. However, whether you are following a diet low in carbs or are following one recommended to you by your doctor, there are several ways you can stick to your regimen and enjoy traveling at the same time.

Mahone Bay Churches Low Tide

1.     Avoid Skipping Breakfast

Sleeping in while you are on vacation might enhance the experience, but it may also throw you off your diet if it causes you to skip breakfast and as a result, you may end up binging out of hunger when lunchtime arrives. If you do enjoy sleeping in, try to rise early enough where you can still eat a nutritious breakfast that includes whole grains and protein, which has proven to be beneficial for weight loss. This will keep you full and energized until lunch, and you might be less tempted to binge, especially if you decide to eat out.

2.     Track Portions Carefully

One reason people return from a vacation with a few more pounds packed on is that restaurants tend to serve much larger portions than those you would eat at home. If you want to avoid this issue, be mindful of how much you are served at lunch or dinner out. Divide your meal into smaller portions and take the excess back to your hotel room so you can eat it the next day. To plan for this, stay at a hotel that offers in-room refrigerators and microwaves so you can reheat extra food properly.

If portion size is an issue for you when you eat out, ask your waiter if they have any selections designed for those who are counting calories. A menu that offers steamed veggies and baked chicken or fish typically arrive in smaller portions and may help you avoid overeating.

3.     Carry Healthy Snacks With You

When you are on vacation and strolling through picturesque towns and exciting, bustling cities, temptation is everywhere, from salt water taffy at the beachfront candy shop to kettle corn and fried dough at a Midwest fair. While fighting temptation can be difficult, carrying ready-made healthy snacks may cut down your urge to cheat. Bags of celery or carrot sticks, multi-grain crackers or pretzels, and fruit are all good choices.

Dragon Fruit

4.     Take Advantage of Hotel Fitness Centers

Many hotels offer their clients the use of a fitness center that often includes a variety of gym equipment, pool, and a hot tub to enjoy. Taking advantage of your hotel’s fitness amenities will keep you feeling fit, give you energy for the day if you use them before breakfast, and keep you from gaining weight during your vacation. If you are not a fan of treadmills or the elliptical machine, even taking a few laps in the pool may keep you motivated and away from fatty foods as you head to breakfast.

Taiwan Hot Springs

If you are on a family vacation, include your spouse and children when it comes to fitting in exercise on a daily basis. Have them join you at the pool or take a long walk before breakfast. Remember to note the time and walk briskly together for at least thirty minutes. Some hotels are now including walking tracks for their clients that are both safe and comfortable, and you can spend time together as a family while you get the exercise you need.

5.     Do Not Deny Yourself Completely

No vacation would be much fun if you completely deny yourself at least one or two of the riches your destination has to offer, but there several ways you can treat yourself without overdoing it. One of the most effective is to designate a cheat day where you can enjoy a local delicacy or try a food you would not be able to sample at home so you can eat it without feeling guilty.

While taking off on vacation is synonymous with freedom, giving up on your weight loss regimen during that time may only undo everything you have worked so hard to achieve previously. However, following the above tips and planning ahead can help you avoid binging while you enjoy everything a relaxing vacation has to offer.

Train Station Inn, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Delicious local fish chowder and fish cakes at the Train Station Inn; Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada

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  1. My that fish chowder looks wonderful. I don’t think I have ever stayed at a hotel with a fitness centre and I probably wouldn’t use it if I did. We do a lot of walking which helps compensate for tasting all the new food options (when we’re not driving around in yellow convertibles that is lol).

    • Hi Jan. That fish chowder was amazing! We do make good chowder in Nova Scotia. When I traveled for business I often used hotel fitness centers. Although, I actually preferred the hotel swimming pool. Now, like you, I walk a lot when I’m traveling. My problem with weight gain isn’t while I’m on the road (all walking, NO yellow convertibles!). I struggle when I come back home. Although, I still walk a lot, it’s not as much as when I’m away.

  2. I think good habits are important and should follow us everywhere, including vacation. And what can help us is the fact that we should enjoy our diet, workout or run, maybe thinking of the results we’ll have in the future. Thanks for the tips!

    • Hi Ani. Good points. Must admit I don’t always the best habits! 🙂

  3. Great tips and good strategies, Nancie. Now I just have to get in the habit of utilizing them everyday AND while traveling! 🙂

    • Hi Anita! Agree! The important part is to use the tips!! 🙂

  4. Great tips Nancie. I managed to gain 6 Kgs after cruising and various other holidays over the past two years. Fortunately I have now lost this weight and I will be a lot wiser for future holidays. I do exercise a lot whilst on holidays but I tend to increase portions and eat treats that I don’t normally eat.

    • Hi Kathy! Congratulations on the weight loss! I know if I took a cruise that I would gain weight. When I’m traveling on my own I don’t usually have an issue. All the walking makes up for the extra calories (or at least that’s what I think!) 🙂

  5. You posted this after while I was on vacation. Sadly, I managed to gain a few pounds in England, despite walking a bazillion more steps each day than usual. My problem was the opposite of skipping breakfast. Instead of my normal small bowl of yogurt and berries, I had a full English breakfast — eggs, toast, beans, sausage, broiled tomatoes… and a bunch of other dishes every single morning.

  6. I wanted to stop in and say you have some absolutely great advice! It’s a hard enough feat to maintain a weight loss regimen at home, and even harder if you take a vacation!



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