I have one very important rule when it comes to taking body measurements.
Never weigh yourself when you come back from vacation.
My rule of thumb is to give yourself at least 7 days before stepping on the scale because many people will come back with extra but easily explained pounds. Our eating habits are often very different on vacation due to a lot of restaurant meals and eating foods different from our normal diets (particularly if you are lucky enough to go somewhere like Paris). This will cause weight because:
You will have water weight gain due to the extra sodium.
Your digestive system may not get the normal amount of fiber and water leading to “back up”.
Once we return home and return to our normal routines, these situations will rectify themselves and our weight will return to a more normal state.
Having said that, it can be easy to also gain a “true” pound or two while on vacation. Follow these tips to avoid bringing home souvenir pounds.
- Start the day with a good breakfast. Even on vacation, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A balanced breakfast of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats gives you fuel for whatever the day brings. Starting with a healthy behavior also sets the right tone for the day.
- Walk or take public transit. I like to live like the locals. Taking the subway and walking lets you see a city in a way you can’t from a car. And you can easily walk miles without even realizing it. For a 130 lbs. woman walking at a slow pace (2.0 mph) a mile on foot can equal about 59 calories burned.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration actually exacerbates water retention. It also makes you tired and impairs your ability to be make good decisions, about food or otherwise. Bring a reusable water bottle with you to refill throughout the day or buy a large supply of bottled water to keep in your hotel room.
- Pack snacks. I never leave home without food. The trip to the airport is no exception. I usually carry on fruit, dry roasted edamame, Primal Strips Jerky, Luna Bars and Protein 2Go. On my upcoming trip to New York I’ll also be bringing a GoPicnic meal for the layover. Replenish your snack pack with a trip to the grocery store. It will save you money and calories when hunger strikes during a museum visit or shopping trip.
- Share your entrée or dessert at dinner. Restaurant portions are out of control. If you want to enjoy a new or rare treat, split it with a friend. You can save dollars and calories without feeling like your depriving yourself. If it’s something really special, however, splurge. One or two big indulgences on your trip will not kill you or cause your jeans not to fit!
I am really looking forward to my next trip. I’ll be putting all these tips to work plus seeing what other bonuses NYC has to offer for staying fit on vacation in the Big Apple. Stay tuned for The Best Fit Things to Do In NYC.