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  • Writer's picturePaula Stiles

5 Steps to Indulge on Vacation without Blowing Your Weight Loss Plan

Let’s just be clear about something: when you go on vacation, it’s important to relax and enjoy yourself.

It’s even more important to make sure you get to splurge a little bit and savor your favorite not-so-healthy foods, but do it responsibly so when you get back home and step on the scale again, you haven’t undone all your hard work.

Follow these five steps when you go on vacation and you should be golden!

Step 1: Don’t Eat Crap

If you don’t eat Lays Potato Chips at home, then don’t eat them on vacation. There’s nothing special about average junk food you can get at any grocery store. Forget the giant bag of M&M’s, and don’t even think about Jack in the Box.

However, if you’re in Maine and they have fresh caught lobster on the menu, get it! And dip it in the butter! If you’re going to Mexico, go ahead and have the chips with salsa or fresh-made guacamole. And don’t you dare leave the Caribbean without enjoying a few conch fritters! YUM!

Whatever it is, make it a special indulgence, don’t just indulge for the sake of it.

Step 2: Listen to Your Healthy Voice

Let’s not forget your fruits and vegetables. Just because you’re indulging doesn’t mean that you get to throw out all the goodness: the indulgences go on top of your healthy eating plan. You can especially take advantage of the delicious fruits if you’re on an exotic vacation. Mango, anyone?

When I’m on vacation, I typically make healthy choices for breakfast and lunch, and have an indulgent dinner. Maybe a fruit platter with café mocha for breakfast and a great salad for lunch with chicken and salsa on top. I love salsa!.

Step 3: Keep Moving

Don’t skip your exercise. You’re on vacation... that means the “I don’t have time” excuse does not apply! Work it into your schedule. Walk to get a coffee in the morning. Plan a hike to see something at your destination.

Wherever you are, 30 minutes of walking or running or even swimming will boost your energy levels and keep you feeling great. When you think about it, 30 minutes is just 1/48 of your day. That’s a pretty small fraction for the great benefit you’ll feel when you do it.

Step 4: Take or Buy Your Staple Food Items

If you’re used to making a protein shake for breakfast or eating a protein bar in the afternoon as a snack, take those with you. This eliminates the possibility of totally going off the deep end at a single meal.

Or if you have the opportunity have some healthy choices delivered to your hotel. Many grocery stores will deliver. When we went to Disney World I had groceries delivered that we put in the small hotel fridge. It helped to have some healthy choices for breakfast and snacks.

Step 5: Make Smart Alcohol Choices

A Piña Colada or Cadillac Margarita or any other colorful drink with an umbrella sounds great – but could be in excess of 500 calories! Know what you’re drinking and work it into your plan.

A light beer, a glass of wine, a vodka soda or tequila on the rocks would be a much better choice, calorically speaking. If you decide to enjoy a colorful umbrella drink as your indulgence like I plan to, savor every sip! But don’t have seven of them during the week.

7 drinks x 500 calories each = 3500 calories = 1 lb. of fat on your body = yikes!

When you go on vacation, enjoy yourself the smart way and you’ll come back only a couple pounds heavier rather than five or six pounds heavier. The best way to stay on track is to recommit to yourself, no questions asked, immediately upon arrival home. Do not wait! Have your 1st healthy meal planned before you leave. Make it easy to get back into your routine!

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