6 Vacation Tips to Keep You Fit

With summer vacation quickly approaching, you’re probably planning your next getaway.

Whether you go on a cruise, an African safari or a low-key trip to the beach, warm summer days are the best time to get away from it all.

But wait – did you know that the average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation?

Between missed workouts, extra large restaurant meals and indulgent snacks, lazy vacation days will quickly add inches to your waistline.

So before you pack your bags for your next adventure, read the following 6 Vacation Tips and come home fitter, not fatter.

Vacation Tip #1: Make a Decision

Before you leave home, make the decision that you will NOT gain weight while on your trip.

This is the easiest step to take to make sure that you avoid weight gain, but it is also the most overlooked. Instead of leaving things to chance, harness the power of creative visualization that has been proven time and time again by go-getters such as Michael Jordan, Einstein, Napoleon and Andrew Carnegie.

Visualize what it would be like to return home fitter than when you left. Take a moment to let yourself feel the excitement that you’d experience.

Remember what accomplishing your goal feels like – this will keep you motivated throughout your trip and will help pull you through the inevitable tempting situations that you’ll face.

Vacation Tip #2: Get Moving

It’s easy to spend vacation days sprawled out by the pool, but the inactivity will quickly add up to extra pounds.

Choose to be active and you’ll burn calories all day long while indulging in fewer unnecessary snacks. The following ideas will get you moving:

  • Go on a brisk walk each day of your trip. You’ll see new sights while burning off excess calories.
  • Always take the stairs rather than the elevator. Talk about bonus calorie burning!
  • Go on a jog in the mornings before your daily activities, or jog in the evening after the day winds down.
  • If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each day. Swimming is a fun way to get in a full body workout.
  • If your trip takes you to a place of natural beauty then go on a hike. Even while hiking at a slow or moderate pace you’ll burn plenty of calories.
  • Play some sports – beach volleyball, a game of hoops, Frisbee, or bike riding are all great ways to have fun while keeping fit.

Vacation Tip #3: Indulge with Portion Control

You have no choice but to eat out while on vacation. Whether you’re enjoying 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you’ll be met with the same problem: huge portions.

While it is tempting to simply eat it all – you are on vacation after all – this will quickly lead to extra pounds. Use the following tips to keep your portions under control:

  • When you order your meal ask for a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it into the box before you even begin to eat. This will force you to eat a healthy portion.
  • If you would rather not carry around a to-go box, ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime don’t be afraid to ask for the lunch-sized portion.
  • Pay more, and eat less. Take quality of food over quantity.
  • Eat meals. Cut out snacking, stick with structured meals.
  • Eat slowly, and eat foods that have been prepared slowly – that means no fast food.

Vacation Tip #4: Eat Natural Sweets

One of your biggest enemies when it comes to vacation weight gain is…sugar.

The average modern person consumes 46 teaspoons of sugar every day. The average person on vacation consumes even more than that.

Even though sugary calories taste great, the sweet pleasure comes at a high price. Here’s what I mean:

  • Sugar creates false hunger (as a result of the insulin rush and then ensuing plummet in blood sugar levels), which causes you overeat.
  • Sugar promotes aging (due to the advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, that occur when insulin levels are consistently elevated as a result of eating too much sugar). Sugar has even been dubbed the negative fountain of youth!
  • Sugar weakens your bones -making you vulnerable for osteoporosis, and weakens your teeth – making you vulnerable for cavities (both due to the calcium being pulled from your bones and teeth in order for your body to process sugar).
  • Sugar in excess is stored as fat (after your liver has no more room to store it, sugar is converted to fat and deposited on your belly, thighs, hips and the backs of your arms).

So instead of eating that ice cream cone or chocolate éclair, satiate your sweet tooth with a piece of juicy fruit.

Vacation Tip #5: Don’t Eat Fried Foods

While fast food restaurants are definitely convenient, with their low prices and quick service, it’s really not worth the additional pounds brought on by chips and fries. As you enjoy your vacation keep this in mind: don’t eat fried foods. While this is always a good plan to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.

A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry – so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your caloric intake.

Take an average potato, bake it and you have 110 calories and 0 grams of fat. Take that same potato, turn it into French fries and you have 380 calories and 18 grams of fat.

Frying food is the easiest way to dramatically increase the calorie and fat content. And you know that extra calories and fat end up as extra body fat.

Other disasters that fried foods increase your risk for include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Clogged Arteries
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Acne

If I still haven’t convinced you to pass on the curly fries, keep in mind that heartburn and indigestion are not fun…especially while on vacation. Need I say more?

Vacation Tip #6: Do this Hotel Room Workout

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, or if you’d simply prefer the privacy of your room, do this hotel room workout:

  • Body Weight Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower down into a squat position. Make sure that your knees do not go past 90 degrees. Exhale as you straighten your legs and return to the starting position. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Do Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • Body Weight Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Exhale as you lunge forward with your right leg. Make sure that your knee does not go past 90 degrees. Inhale as you return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Do Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • Push Ups: Get into the push up position (depending on your fitness level choose to go off your knees, push off of the wall, or assume the traditional position). Inhale as you lower your chest down. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Do Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • V-Ups: Sit on the edge of a chair or bed and lean back. Exhale as you drive your knees in toward your chest, squeezing your abdominal muscles. Inhale as you lower your knees back down with control. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
  • Do Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.

Well, now you have 6 tips that will keep away the unwanted vacation pounds. You may even end up losing a pound or two while away.  Have a great time and I will see you when you get back.

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