How to avoid weight gain on vacation

I remember a trip to Maui in my 20s with friends. We rented a condo and so had the ability to make our own strawberry daiquiris, with ice cream, EVERYDAY! If memory serves, it was more than one a day. And yes, I gained weight.

Was that essential to having a good vacation?

My 20-something self would likely say “yes.” My 50-something self can respond with an honest “no.”

I did a FB Live about what happens to healthy habits on vacation and I asked the question, “How can you ‘do’ without ‘over-doing’?” That is, how can you experience all that your vacation might have to offer, including food and adult beverages, without over-eating and over-drinking?

And it’s not just vacation. Reaching your ideal weight means being able to do that all the time. Like when you’re at a birthday party or out to dinner with your sweetie. And that requires that you create an amazing life. (Please note, I didn’t say perfect!)

When vacation is a break from a life that’s less-than-fulfilling, then over-doing it is a way of treating ourselves. Equally, if we feel deprived because we try to willpower our way through tasteless food day after day, letting loose is yet again another treat.

Photo by Yuiizaa September on Unsplash

Even if that’s the case right now, you can still take these three steps to “do without over-doing” and avoid weight gain on vacation:

  1. What’s your intention for vacation? Whether it’s to connect with people, see new places or relax, keep that intention in the front of your awareness. What does your vacation look like if this is your focus?
  2. What’s your intention for your health? Ask yourself how you want to feel on vacation and how you want to treat your body. What kind of food and alcohol (and exercise) choices will you make? And, be careful of the “moderation” argument.
  3. Strategize: Then, to avoid weight gain on vacation, you’ll want to combine both intentions. For example, an activity that keeps your body in motion while seeing the sights or talking with friends. Or trying out new foods that are geared towards veggies and whole grains rather than the fried variety. Plan ahead how much you will drink, and keep your commitment to yourself. Rarely will you choose beforehand to drink in excess – that usually happens in the moment.

Vacation does not need to equal weight gain. That’s not to say if you’re on a weight loss journey that you need to be focused on losing during vacation. Decide on your intention and stay in integrity with your choice.

Ultimately, start brainstorming…what does it feel like to thrive? What does an amazing life look like when you’re in integrity with your desires for a healthy body and at your ideal weight?

Then going on vacation is just part of your amazing life. Not a detour from it.

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