By Megan Zakarewicz, DO, Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss
Vacations are about getting away from it all, taking some time to disconnect, clearing your mind, and restoring yourself for overall well-being. Unfortunately, vacation also is when many people veer off track when it comes their weight-loss goals.
If you have been working on weight loss, preparing for vacation can sometimes feel stressful. On one hand, eating right on vacation can feel like a chore. But on the other hand, indulging throughout your whole trip can sometimes cause a setback in your plan that you aren’t comfortable with.
Try these 7 ways to keep vacation from sabotaging your weight loss.
- Bring your own snacks.
Often when we are on vacation, we put ourselves in a position where we are trying to choose the best option from a list of unhealthy ones. Plan ahead and bring your own healthy snacks. Then you can save your indulgence for a time when it feels more satisfying.
- Eat breakfast.
Our vacation schedules often vary from our normal routine. If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to overeat later throughout the day. If you are out and about super-early, grab a protein bar or use a meal replacement shake to get some fuel to start your day strong. When going out to breakfast, a vegetable omelet is a great way to get a good boost of protein along with a serving of vegetables to start the day. You can opt to skip the potatoes and toast to help stay on track.
- Splurge once a day.
After all, this is vacation! You should enjoy special treats. Try out local bakeries or get ice cream with the kids. The trick is to mindfully choose your indulgence, monitor your portions, eat slowly and savor every bite.
- Stay hydrated.
Traveling can often lead to dehydration, especially if you are flying. Work to meet your water goal even while on vacation. Try to avoid sugary drinks, which can easily add up to a calorie excess.
- Eat your veggies.
Try to get vegetables with every meal. Veggies are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals and also a low-calorie way to fill up. Eating an indulgent food but choosing a veggie for your side can be a great reminder that health is important. It can help your bottom line from a calorie perspective, but it can be even more powerful mentally to remind yourself you care about your health, and your nutrition is a big part of your overall health.
- Continue to monitor your calories.
If you are using a nutrition logging app, continue this habit while on vacation. I can’t stress this one enough! Knowledge is power. Sometimes our instinct is to stop logging because we feel like what we will eat is going to be bad anyway. But we actually learn the most through logging our indulgences. This knowledge can set us up to make our best decisions in the future.
Take a few minutes at the end of the night to recap your day. Think about what you are happy about and what you might change for the following day.
Vacations are a time to enjoy yourself. Setting some structure for yourself ahead of time can be a great roadmap to stay on track. In the end, it is possible to both enjoy yourself and not lose sight of your weight-loss goals.
About the author: Megan Zakarewicz, DO, is a primary care physician with certification in obesity medicine. She leads the Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss program. She is accepting new patients via telemedicine appointments. For more information, call Grand View Health at 215-453-4100 to schedule an appointment.