10 ways to prevent weight gain on vacation

Many people gain between 2-7 lbs while on vacation, according to a recent article discussed by Cleveland Clinic. The weight gain is not the only worrisome thing, it’s also the habits that are formed in a short period of time.  The study showed that one week is long enough for most people to give up on exercise, succumb to unhealthy eating patterns, and to fall into unhealthy patterns.  In the study, these habits and weight gain persisted for many months after the vacation was over.  Don’t let this be YOU!!
My family and I are visiting Australia for a month.  A month is a long time to practice bad habits.  I am working hard daily to keep my family on track so we don’t succumb to a full summer of weight gain and poor health.

1. Remember to pack fruits and veggies.

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Problem: eating out leads to bigger portions, more fried foods, more dessert, more calories, more fat, salt, and sugar.

Solution: go to the local grocery store and stock your apartment or rental home with eggs, fruits, veggies, nitrite free bacon, nitrite free cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, PB, Jelly, oatmeal, etc. Cook a healthy breakfast with protein, complex carbs, and fruits to keep everyone full for the morning. Make sandwiches for lunch. Go out for dinner. Or use some of these 11 Healthy Snack Ideas that we generally use on vacation to create any meal you wish.

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Problem: lots of people hate to cook on vacation.  I am one of them.

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Baked Ziti Recipe
Breakfast Casserole:

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Problem: It’s easy for kids to indulge endlessly in Sodas, Gatorade, juices, milk shakes, etc. For adults the daily alcoholic beverages can add inches to the waist – beer, margaritas, coladas, daiquiris are high in calories and sugar.

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Problem: for most people a week of vacation means a week of parking it in a chair at the beach or mountains and doing nothing.

Solution: go for a walk on the beach every day – 30 min. Rent or bring bikes and go for family bike rides every evening.  We went on a family sightseeing bike ride through Sydney, Australia.  While marveling at amazing views, we all got a workout and no one noticed.  Riding your bike to and from dinner is a great way to relax at the end of the day. Go hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, running, surfing, or exploring. Every day do something for 30 min. Here is the link to our latest Beach Partner Workout

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Problem: cereal, crackers, pretzels, chips, toast, bagels, have a high glycemic index which means these foods cause your blood sugar to spike. When blood sugar spikes quickly, your body makes lots of insulin. With lots of insulin comes a precipitous sugar drop which leads to constant cravings and requests for snacks.

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Problem: we all get hungry when bored.

Solution: establish meal and snack times. Don’t let the “kitchen” be open endlessly. Sounds strange? It will save your ears a lot of whining when you set expectations at the start of the day.  This also teaches my kids how to eat properly when food is available to avoid hunger until the next time the Kitchen is open for business.

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Problem: endless caffeinated and sugary beverages and alcohol make you pee a lot and these types of drinks are dehydrating. Hanging out in the hot weather is dehydrating. The body sends hunger signals when it is in need of water.

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Problem: not only do we feel we should indulge ourselves constantly while on vacation, but we feel the need to finish the whole plate to get our money’s worth.

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Problem: parents assume that kids will only eat pizza, Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and fries. The kids menu is the grossest thing at a restaurant.  I generally don’t even accept one at the table unless it’s filled with fun activities to keep away boredom.

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I would love more tips that have worked for other families to keep good habits in place while on vacation.

In Good Health and safe travels, Ana-Maria Temple, MD

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