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How To Avoid Gaining Weight On Vacation

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Summer is coming! We all want to avoid gaining weight while traveling or on vacation, right?? Well, here is how to achieve that very goal!

Weight gain is something that I always used to struggle with when going on vacation. It has even held me back from going on a couple trips in the past! I was worried about temptation and plans that would be out of my control. Causing obstruction to the progress that I had made before going on vacation, and of course guilt when I get back home.

I hated having this negative mindset while traveling. Whether it be about body image, food, or working out. I would always let it control how I was feeling and how I was enjoying my time while traveling. But when I began to follow these tips helpful tips that I have put in place for myself, I NEVER had trouble maintaining my weight on vacation! And still to this day!

These tips have allowed me to confidently go on vacation with the goal to have fun, relax, and be in the moment. Instead of constantly worrying about finding a gym nearby or the counting calories in every single meal.


Remember, you booked this vacation to have fun!!


While having the mentality to lose weight and keep up with your current fitness goals is awesome, I know that losing weight during the duration of your trip generally does not happen in most cases. Don’t set yourself up for failure and guilt by giving yourself that false hope! Let loose a little and savor these memories! Celebrate your trip and the new place that you’re visiting! By utilizing  these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to maintain your weight and current physique, and not bring home any extra “baggage.”

We all love bringing home souvenirs and memories from our trips, am I right?! But let’s not allow weight gain and extra pounds be one of them!

how to avoid gaining weight on vacation


1. Drink lots of water!


Staying hydrated is an obvious must! Especially since many vacation destinations are in hotter climates and involve a lot of walking and physical activity.

But…did you know that many people confuse hunger for thirst? Particularly on vacation!

This can often result in overeating! Try drinking at least two 8 oz cups of water with every alcoholic beverage that you have. McKell Hill, registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition Stripped says that “drinking enough water can seem cliche, but there’s a reason for it. Our bodies are mostly made up of water, and initial hunger can sometimes mask dehydration.” So if you’re feeling overly hungry, it could be your body’s ways of telling you to drink some more water!

how to lose weight while traveling Bring a cute water bottle with you to the beach or while hiking that ensures to keep your water ice cold! You can also bring it to the bar as well to stop any alcoholic beverage temptations before they even happen!

2. Dine Out Once a Day


This is crucial if you want to avoid gaining weight on vacation!

Not only does it save you money, but foods prepared at home are the cheapest and healthiest option! When you cook at home or in your hotel room, you maintain control of exactly what you’re eating. Many restaurant portion sizes are double to triple the size than what is recommended as well.

If you are hoping to avoid weight gain on vacation, do not eat out more than once a day!

Extra tip: Be sure to research the restaurant and it’s menu online before you go! To ensure that they have healthy meals to choose from so you’re not stuck with a small restaurant that just serves fried fish and french fries!


3. Grocery shop at your destination


Try visiting the local grocery store or market when you get to your destination!

This will be especially easy if you’re flying domestically, not to mention, it will save you a TON of money in the long run! Instead of going out to eat or purchasing fast food items for every single meal every day that you’re on vacation. Buying snacks and meals at a grocery store will also allow you to make more conscious, healthy decisions!

Moreover, if you are staying at a hotel or a house that has basic kitchen appliances, you could buy healthy ingredients from the store and cook your own meals. Then, enjoy them inside, in the comfort of your rental house or hotel room, with the people you are traveling with!


4. Snack little throughout the day


Snack a little bit throughout the day to make sure that you do not binge on unhealthy, greasy food when you go out to dinner! You will also stay satisfied and keep your hunger at bay much longer!

When you’re venturing out for the day, slip some healthy snacks into your backpack or bag. Healthy snacks such as fruits, sliced veggies, cheese sticks, or nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc.)

Or, pack a couple of protein bars for a fulfilling, high protein, and high fiber snack that will keep you full for much longer, and to fuel your body to keep you energized throughout the day! You could also pack a box of these great tasting bars before you leave for your trip! That way you have one for each day of the week!


Related Post: 7 Ultimate Healthy Snack Alternatives to Boost Fat Loss”

5. Take advantage of your morning meal 


how to avoid weight gain while traveling


You want to be able to control your first meal in the morning. This first meal is crucial for setting the tone for the rest of your day. If you practice eating mindfully during your very first meal, you’re more likely to choose healthier options throughout the remainder of your day.

Typically, lunch and dinner can involve higher calorie based meals and options that are normally centered around indulgence. With that, try choosing lesser calories and nutrient-dense foods when making your plate at breakfast. That way, if your lunch and/or dinner options are out of your control, then at least you ate a nutrient-dense and overall healthy breakfast to keep you fulfilled and sustained longer.

Take advantage of the hotel complimentary breakfast or buffet, and pack up on some fruit, low-sugar oatmeal, whole-grain toast, hard-boiled eggs, or even egg whites if they have any!

Or, like tip #3, go out and buy ingredients for breakfast and cook that in your hotel room or kitchen. That way you can control what your eating and keep the meal low in carbohydrates, sugar, and fat!


6. Move your body


Try to still get in a simple workout each day if you can! Take 30 minutes to an hour out of your morning when your children, spouse, or friends are sleeping and get your workout in for the day! Utilize the cardio machines and/or the weights in the hotel gym, take a walk or a run on the beach, or jog up the stairs for a half hour!

If you’re staying in an Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo, or any similar type of accommodation, then take the time to complete a 30-minute H.I.I.T workout in the living room or a separate bedroom! There are so many videos on YouTube that you can find with a simple Google search, or simply make up your own workout!

Even if you only get 20 minutes in, something is always better than nothing! Be sure to pack gym/exercise clothes with you in the first place. That way you have zero excuses to get your workout in!


8. Schedule a family “exercise” activity


This is perfect for those traveling with children, their partner, or even just by themselves!

Add an activity to your itinerary that revolves around exercise and physical movement! You can easily disguise the thought of exercise with activities such as:


  • Kayaking
  • Swimming in the hotel pool, lake, ocean, etc.
  • Hiking
  • Walking the beach
  • Playing at a local park
  • Bike riding
  • Scuba diving, and so many more ideas!


It’s a wonderful way to burn calories while spending some alone time on your trip, or while spending quality time with your friends and family! It is also a great way to meet locals or fellow travelers who are interested in the same activities that you are!


how to avoid gaining weight on vacation


9. Walk as often as possible


Take the long, scenic route back to the hotel! Walk the beach for the perfect tanning spot instead of just settling on the first one you see. Take the stairs as often as you can. Walk to dinner or lunch instead of calling an Uber. Or even get to that new restaurant by paddleboard, kayak, or bike!

Make it fun and a new (free) excursion to add to the itinerary! It will make you enjoy your vacation experience even more, and it will help you burn some extra calories in the process!


10. Limit your alcoholic beverages


Skip on the sugary, alcoholic drinks that are 500 calories a drink, or just stick to one, when you go out!

Sugary alcoholic beverages are typically the #1 reason why people gain weight on vacation! Drinking a multiple of these calorie-loaded drinks can easily put on extra pounds if you are not conscious or mindful about how many you are drinking. Your best bet is to obviously stick with water, or choose only one of these indulgent drinks when you out.

Try ordering these lower-calorie drinks instead as well!

Vodka has the least amount of calories (64 cal. a serving) because it contains nothing other than ethanol and water. A bottle of light beer sits at around 110 calories a serving, and champaign is around 87 calories per glass! Spice it up with some lime, lemon or mint to add in some extra flavor while still keeping the calories light!


11. Utilize the 80/20 rule


I understand, personally, how difficult it can be to eat 100% clean while traveling or on vacation! So with that, aim to eat clean 80% of the time! For the other 20%, indulge in foods that you want to indulge in!

For most of your meals, try sticking to foods that are high in protein and fiber, that way you stay fuller longer. Then, fill your plate up with complex carbohydrates, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats. As long as you compose most of your meals this way, you can feel free to indulge in whatever you want for that final meal at dinner or that chocolate mousse that’s on the dessert menu!

After all, what’s a vacation without a little wine and dessert right?

12. Balance is key!


Balance is the #1 key to avoid gaining weight on vacation!

You can have the bread, the cocktail, and the dessert. Just not all 3 at once! If that slice of triple chocolate layered cake is calling your name, save the wine or margarita for tomorrow night and sip water instead, or a vodka seltzer with some lime or lemon!

Another mindful option: try to pick one meal a day to splurge on calories. Just like tip #2 and #3! If you go crazy at the breakfast buffet one morning, eat sensibly for the rest of the day. Don’t fight yourself and say no to each one of your cravings. You’re more likely to binge if you do that!

It’s all about balance and making healthy, mindful decisions when avoiding weight gain on your next excursion!


how to avoid weight gain on vacation

Remember to have fun, make memories, and do not stress! After all, you’re on vacation!! Let it go, and get back on track when you get back home. Life’s way too short to not enjoy the little time of relaxation and serenity that vacation brings!

Now, how about you?


Do you take time off from the gym and working out when you go on vacation? Or do you find a way to stick with your normal fitness regime 100% every day? 


Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, and happy June 3rd everyone!!

xo, Cydney


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I'm Cydney! I am a wellness and personal development coach who is dedicated to helping and teaching my fellow busy and hard-working 20-something-year-olds the simplest and most convenient ways to begin investing in yourself, your well-being, and your goals! And help you create a life that you love! Sound awesome?! 

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