The mere thought of going on a holiday is a pretty exciting. You’re finally going to get some time to kick back, unwind and relax; which is exactly what we all need – time out from our regular schedules to reward ourselves for the many many hours of hard work we put in during the rest of the year.
In case you didn't know, vacations are actually beneficial to your physical, mental and social wellbeing because they give you a chance to let loose and blow off some steam! However, in the process of “spoiling yourself,” the delicious foods and desserts might take their toll on your body and lead to unwanted weight gain. Now that’s a tricky situation because while the point of going on holiday is to spoil yourself; to indulge in the local cusine, track down the tastiest treats, as well as to refreshed and re-energize, you don’t want to come back with an extra 5 pounds from all the goodies. But worry not, with these five suggestions, you can enjoy every second of your vacation without worrying about the much dreaded vacation weight.
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#1. Explore the Outdoors
Take part in outdoor activities like rock climbing, cycling and hiking. First of all, such activities will ensure that you get fresh air, which in turn is great for your health. Secondly, a one-hour hike will burn nearly 490 calories while cycling will burn about 420 and rock climbing about 563. A great way to explore your surroundings while getting in some exercise.
#2. It is all about the snacks
If you prefer sightseeing activities, it’s crucial to carry nutritious snacks. You can pick from an array of dry fruits, nuts, and protein bars among others. This will stop you from snacking from vending machines that, let’s be honest, are not very well known for healthy snacks. You will also find it more convenient and cost effective to carry your own stash. Snacking is important because it not only gives you the necessary energy to enjoy the vacation but also prevents you from overeating during your next meal.
Almonds are my go to. Small, delicious, and you only really need a small handful to help you keep full and energized for hours.
#3. Healthy foods are tasty too
Although vacations offer the basically unlimited opportunity to stuff delicious foods into your face, always keep in mind that the vacation is not a time to fill yourself on everything that delights your taste buds. First off do a quick survey of the array of foods, we’re talking to you especially all inclusive vacationers, or unlimited buffet cruisers.
Secondly, try and stock up first on the healthier items you like, and then include some treats or indulgents when most of your plate, or stomach is full. Don’t forget to include a cool selection of vitamin and protein sources in your breakfast as those will fill up your stomach real good and prepare you for the day ahead. Avocado toast, I’m looking at you here.
But make sure you don’t overeat because a very heavy breakfast will make you lack the energy to do all the fun activities that you have scheduled for the day.
#4. Sneak in a little exercise
Exercise should be an essential part of life and the fact that you are on holiday shouldn’t be an excuse.
Maybe you’re by a gym, maybe you’re not, but there are plenty of things you can do to still get in a small workout. Lots of cruises or hotels offer Yoga and Pilates. If a gym is not available, then you can go for even more fun options like skipping a rope or playing friendly games of soccer or basketball with whoever you are on holiday with. Basic floor exercises, running, or stretches can be done anywhere. Say bye bye to your excuse.
Just think, the more you exercise, the more you can eat! (Well, kind of)
#5. Dessert or cocktails?
Alright, now comes the hard part about vacations. The choice between cocktails or dessert. I know, I know, we should be able to have it all, I mean the idea is to spoil yourself, right? But you and I both know, the smart best is to choose only one. Consuming both might lead to serious weight gain. You can have the cocktail today and have dessert tomorrow.
Lets be honest though, if it’s just not a vacation without both, try to at least to remember a little moderation.
The Bottom Line
Holidays are about enjoying your time off and making memories with friends and family. One of the best ways to do that is to get out there and explore, on foot or on bike. Food is a huge part of my life, so I’m never going to be the one to tell you not to eat, but throw a few veggies into the mix.
Photo by Tim Miller, CC