I’ll be 100% candid with you. I rarely go on vacation, but I travel a lot throughout the year on business. I consider myself a very frequent flyer.
As a business traveler, I’m either being treated out to food or I’m eating food on the go between meetings and events. This can be really stressful on my system and belt size, but not as much as those of you who enjoy taking vacations. The word “vacation” is synonymous with the word gluttony, which is a fancy way of saying eating too much and gaining weight. So how can you avoid weight gain when traveling? Let’s talk about it.
As soon as “I’m hungry”, a timer starts counting down. I don’t turn into a big, green angry monster, but I turn into something called hangry. A curious mix of being hungry and angry about being hungry. To thwart this from happening I pack a few healthy snacks in my suitcase. That curbs my hunger enough so I don’t stop to eat at the first place I see, which almost always happens to be fast food. The fastest way to gain weight on vacation is to eat when you’re really hungry. Chances are you’ll end up at some fast food joint where you’ll stuff your face and eating your weekly calorie intake in just on meal. Stop, grab a healthy snack and think your next action through.
Although I relish in the silence of a 16-hour flight and the excitement of the end destination, I never look forward to the jet lag. The most important thing you can do to get your trip started off right is to adjust to the local time right away. This will help you keep a normal eating schedule, which will save you from getting hungry really late at night and trying to search the city for food at ungodly hours.
The only places that are open at those times are greasy spoon restaurants, where weight gain is imminent. To avoid this, it’s important to do everything you can to adapt to the local time zone as early as when you board the flight. Set your smartphone to local time, and go by it like clockwork. You can also force your body to adjust to the local time zone during the first day or two at your hotel. Rather than cover the blinds with those heavy curtains, leave them open so you can wake up to the natural sunlight. Mmm…sunshine and regular eating habits.
If you don’t stay hydrated, you’re going to get tired and irritable much faster. This may not mean a lot when you’re sitting at a desk all day at work, but on a vacation you need all the energy you can muster to enjoy the days ahead. Staying hydrated also has the direct benefit of stopping you from overeating. Why? The part of your brain that tells you “hey I’m getting hungry” is the same part that says “hey, I’m thirsty!”. By drinking those 8 recommended glasses of water a day, you can avoid the internal debate. Weight gain shut down!
Bring sneakers, workout gear, and a bathing suit on every single trip. Whether it’s for business or a vacation, always be prepared to have fun. Almost every hotel and resort has a pool, weight room or some kind of gym. If for some reason it doesn’t, visit a gym or yoga joint in the local area and ask them about one-week or one-day trial periods. These kinds of amenities help curb any extra pounds you may be adding on when ordering fancy drinks or larger portions. If you have to, book the time off in your schedule to hit these amenities up. You time is just as important as exploration time.
When traveling, there’s always less time to think about where you can eat well and exercise. With the power of the internet, you can plan way ahead to know where the best places are to eat healthily and the places to avoid. Many times vacationers leave this planning to when they arrive, but no one wants to plan while their on vacation. Don’t kid yourself. Plan for the food and fun ahead of time so you can be as busy or as lazy as you want to be when you get there.
Mr. Columbus may not have had sneakers or even hiking boots, but that didn’t stop him from having one heck of an adventure. The greatest part about going to somewhere new is seeing and exploring it. Unless you’re a food blogger, I highly recommend you spend your travel budget on experiences instead of just fancy food. Climb a mountain, see that monument, and scuba dive with the fish! These are the types of memories you can share with you family for years to come, and you’ll likely leave with stronger muscles and a looser pant size. If all you do is sit on your butt all day drinking fancy drinks and divulging on fatty foods, it’s not a vacation as much as it is a war on your body and wellness.
Featured photo credit: Gratisography.com via imcreator.com
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