August 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm
by Irina Gonzalez
Summer’s almost over and getting the kids back to school is just around the corner. I know what you may be thinking: now’s the perfect time to take a quick getaway with the whole family. That’s certainly what I’m doing this weekend. As much as I’m excited to take a mini-vacation, though, I’m simultaneously concerned about my weight loss goals and how to keep healthy (and keep my family healthy) while we’re away. It’s easier than it sounds, though, so here’s how to do it.
1. Cook for the family: I really love cooking, so this one isn’t going to be a problem for me. One of the nice things about taking vacation (or, really, even a staycation) with the whole family is that you can get a hotel room that has a mini kitchen. Why’s this important? Well, not only does it save you money to not eat out for every meal but it also saves calories since you can control the food and portion sizes. I’m committing to making a healthy power breakfast for my family every single day and to sneak in a few summer veggie-packed family dinners or maybe even a healthy main-dish salad on days that nobody feels like going out to eat.
2. Do some small exercise: I know, I know. Nobody truly wants to commit to working out while on vacation, but you know what’s really, really simple? Walking more. Whether you actually have the willpower to wake up early and take a stroll around the block or you’re just going to be walking a bit more throughout the day, my secret is to make sure that I have plenty of fun walking music with walking playlists from today’s hottest artists and maybe a headphone splitter (or two) so that I can take a family buddy with me on the walk. All it takes is really 10-15 minutes, maybe a few times a day, and you’ll be feeling great.
3. Drink water, water, water: I always like to say that I do not drink my calories but that’s difficult when you’re on vacation. Often I find myself giving in and having a glass of summer wine with dinner or a sparkling sangria alongside my taco lunch. Okay, so I’m on vacation and allowed to indulge a bit but what I don’t give up my water habit. Typically, I drink a tall glass of water before every meal and during. If I’m having another drink on the side, that’s fine, but also keeping my water nearby (and sipping it) helps me indulge in a drink but not need a second.
4. Stick to the 80/20 rule: This is a rule that I’ve heard referred to as the “balance” rule or the “90/10 rule” but I prefer to call it the 80/20 rule. What is it, exactly? Basically, I stick to eating healthy 80% of the time and allow myself to indulge about 20% of the time. This means that I’ll eat a healthy breakfast, choose a salad or grilled fish for lunch and stick to cooking a healthy family dinner. Then when it comes to dessert, all bets are off. Why is that? I believe that as long as I am healthy in most of my eating habits (and get in a little exercise, too), then I’m allowed my sweet treat. After all, this is vacation and I don’t want to overindulge–but I also don’t want to underindulge.
5. Don’t stress out: At the end of the day, the thing that is going to make your vacation a lot less fun is if you’re stressing out over every little thing you eat. Hit the snooze and didn’t get in a morning walk? Had dessert with lunch and dinner? Forgot to drink your water and had three glasses of wine instead? Forget about it! All of these things are not recommended to stay healthy (and lose weight) while on vacation, of course, but worrying about them is only going to hurt you further. Instead, say to yourself: okay, this meal wasn’t my healthiest but the next one is a chance to start over. At the end of the day, that’s how you’ll come out happier and, surprisingly, even a few pounds lighter when you’re back home.
How do you stick to healthy eating habits while on vacation? Share with us in the comments below!