Whether you’ve successfully lost weight, or you feel like you’re just continuing to put it on, the concept of going on vacation can be stressful.
Here are the 5 main ways I intend to not gain weight while on vacation. This blog post is timely for me because I’m in the first week of a long round-the-world trip.
I’m currently staying with family who eat really healthy meals (phew), but in planning for this trip one of the major anxieties I’ve had was how I was going to manage to not gain weight when I’ll be travelling through countries where the food is different to what I’m used to, and I may not be able to get the kind of high-protein, low carbohydrate food I usually prefer to eat.
5 ways to stop gaining weight on vacation
So here’s my plan for how I am going to (hopefully!) not gain weight while on vacation.
1. Walk everywhere!
This is kind of an obvious one, and something many holiday makers find they end up doing anyway just as a natural consequence of being curious to see as much of new places as they can. But where there’s an option to take public transport, drive or walk – choose walk, every time.
It will help to maintain your weight and you’ll see more interesting things too that you might otherwise miss if you’re stuck inside a vehicle.
2. Build physical activities into your plans.
Holidays are a great opportunity to try things you might not have tried before, or do things you don’t get to do often, like ride bikes, go horse riding, try a new water sport, etc. A couple of days ago I wanted to go into town from where I was staying, and there was the option to borrow a car or ride a bike. I took the bike.
I love to hike, so the second week of my trip includes a 4 day hike which is not only beautifully scenic and good fun but means I can enjoy a delicious meal at the end of each day without a worry in the world.
3. Skip, or cut down on the carbs.
It doesn’t matter where you are, carbs will always form a major part of a meal. If you can keep this intake to a minimum it will go a long way towards avoiding gaining weight on vacation. If presented with a plate of food, decide to eat everything but the bread roll.
Or eat the bread roll but skip the fries. I realise this can be challenging when the laissez faire holiday mood strikes. Decide you’ll have only a salad for dinner but then allow yourself dessert.
In Asia, you could choose to order a stir fry with no rice, or a dish with no noodles. Of course this will be more challenging in some parts of the world, like Italy, where the pizza and pasta are renowned, and this is where moderation is the key.
Don’t deprive yourself of the local specialities, and just be as physically active as you can to minimise the damage.
4. Drink water as your first choice.
If you’re staying in places with food buffets, or where there is a lot of soft drink or juice on offer, always choose water. I’m one of those lucky people who, despite my sweet tooth has never really enjoyed drinking soda or juice, so it’s water every time, by choice, regardless of what else is on offer.
I’m not suggesting you avoid alcohol while on holiday – that would be sacrilege 😉 but if you can drink it with a non-sugary mixer, like plain sparkling water.
5. Don’t stress!
I hear many stories of friends and family who worry, like I do, about putting on weight while travelling, and find to their surprise that they either don’t, or it’s very little, and it drops off quickly once they get home. Worry produces cortisol which in turn causes us to retain fat.
That’s a simplification of the theory, but it makes my point. Don’t stress, enjoy the holiday and don’t let worrying about the local food or your weight spoil the time away.
You may choose to follow none of the above advice, and decide to just indulge in the experience while you can and worry about it later, and that’s ok too. Last year I had 2 weeks in France and we absolutely gorged ourselves the entire time on everything delicious that was on offer.
I was travelling with my French partner (at the time) who of course was able to track down all the best patisserie, etc. It was a wonderful time, I gained 3kg in that 2 weeks, but it fell off quickly once I got home and I don’t regret it for a second.
So these are the 5 key ways I plan to not gain weight on vacation. I’d love to hear yours!