By Demi Eftimiades
Many people like myself have a love/hate relationship when it comes to traveling. Traveling usually entails spontaneous decisions when it comes to choosing what you’ll have for lunch or even worse, not having time to eat at all. When this happens there’s a tendency to resort to fast-food options.
Once the vacation is over, it can be hard to think about what the number on the scale might look like after several days of indulging.
What if I told you there are ways to get around this? Ways in which you can actually enjoy your time on vacation, without having to worry about whether that sandwich you ate will pack on extra pounds.
I’m talking no strict eating schedules. No foods are off limits. No daily workouts involved.
I’ve traveled to just over 20 countries so I guess you can say I’ve traveled quite a bit. During this time I’ve discovered ways in which I can still make progress and enjoy my time without backtracking.
I will start with the number one thing that can kill your progress: A Calorie Surplus.
This just means that we are eating too many calories. Think of this like filling up a glass cup.
Fill up too much and the cup will overflow (i.e. gain weight). Fill up just enough so that the cup doesn’t overflow and you are good (i.e. maintain or lose weight). It is relatively the same concept in regards to your calories.
On vacation it can be hard to know exactly what the calorie content of food is. It can turn out to be more than what we think because of all of the added sugars and oils.
The second thing is the lack of exercise. With an increase time spent laying out on the beach and a decrease in your normal workout routine and regular diet, there are some obstacles we are going to have to get around.
Here are some tips on how to do just that.
1. Leave the “Diet” mentality in the past.
Eating healthy can be manageable if you think of it in terms of balance. Make small steps in the right direction and reject the diet mentality. If you dive head first into something so extreme, it will be hard to keep up with it and therefore, better chances of falling off the healthy wagon. These baby steps will develop into long term habits over time, so start small!
2. When it’s important to splurge
This part is all about when to say yes and when to say no. Prioritize your splurging! If you are attending a wedding, having a slice of cake will not stall your progress in the long run. If you want to change your lifestyle you need to think more long term versus short.
3. Prepare food ahead of time
Now you have the chance to venture out and get creative! You can make a trip to the local convenience store or grocery store and grab some snacks. My favorites to grab are usually on the high protein side. If I am staying at the hotel, I can ask to have some of the items in my mini bar removed so that I may use it! Some of my favorite things to grab are:
- Greek yogurt cups
- Beef Jerky
- Protein Bars
- Boiled Eggs
- Cheese Sticks
- Almond butter
- Rotisserie Chicken
4. Be aware of when you will eat most
If you know that during the evening time you will be going out to have pizza with co-workers during your travels, don’t overindulged on your lunch, such as eating the bread basket. This is a great opportunity for you practice balance by picking and choosing when you want to eat to majority of your calories.
5. Stay active
Walk. Walk. Walk. If you can, walk everywhere and anywhere. Although walking does not seem like it would burn a lot of calories, they do add up! I went on a trip to Tokyo, and walked everywhere almost every day: stairs instead of escalators, walking to a station instead of taking the metro, and talking the long way back to the house. I ended up losing 10 pounds that trip just from walking! So grab your best sneakers and “run forest run”.
6. Go “Halve-sies”
If you see an ice cream that you are dying to try but you know that it probably contains a lot of calories, try sharing it with someone! That way, you get to try the food you want and don’t spill over on calories.
7. Added Calories
Here I will keep it simples. Condiments and toppings can add a lot of extra calories believe it or not. I ordered a big salad for dinner the other night, and took out half of the amount of cheeses, bacon bits, a and croutons. I also only used about 3 quarters of the dressing packet. That salad that so many people believe is a better choice because it looks healthier, could have been well over 1,000 calories had I not removed some of those toppings.
8. Live in Balance
Traveling should be an exciting opportunity for you to try new experiences and my favorite… Food! Granted, your eating may not be perfect on your trip, but then again nothing is meant to be perfect. The more moderation we implement, the more we are able to adapt to and live a balanced lifestyle.
For more tips on how to live a healthier and balanced lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, check out my website www.demefit.com
Demetra is not a physician or registered dietitian. The content of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
My name is Demetra Eftimiades but I go by Demi!