My family and I just got back from vacation in Lake George and it was wonderful! We only went for a few days as we have a longer vacation planned for next month in the Outer Banks. What made it extra special is my in-laws had their camper with them and stayed at an RV park. The kids stayed with them in their RV and my husband and I got to spend some time alone. It was great! The first night we were there, we checked out the restaurant at the hotel and had some drinks, chatting it up with the locals. And so began my food/drink fest…
So when I got home the first thing I did was jump on the scale. Five pounds gained. Say what? Yikes! I would have figured a couple of pounds, but 5? Now, I admit that some of this was beer induced. I have a rule of no alcohol during the week. But I was on vacation, so why not? But, five pounds really? Oh yea, there was the cake that I ate at dinner the night before we left. It was as big as my head, I couldn’t even eat it the whole thing (see photo). But five pounds? I had run a total of 25 miles on vacation, how could I have gained so much.
Call it water retention or whatever, my body seems to be readjusting itself again to what I was before I left. But going on vacation brings up a lot of fears that we have while we are gone. I’m out of my element, I’m out of routine, I’ll be around people who aren’t concerned about eating right and it will be peer pressure, blah, blah, blah… Anyway, I have had a few days to reflect on what I could have done better and will share some secrets to be successful while you are away on vacation.
Plan ahead – By this I mean if you are going out to dinner, know what the restaurants are serving. Ask what kinds of oils they cook the food in, ask for the dressing on the side, ask for your veggies to be steamed, etc. If you plan on ordering dessert, split it with your significant other or your children. You can still indulge, but indulge wisely. If you are staying at a vacation home, plan your meals for the week. Go the store and shop like you would as if you were home. It’s just not your home, so don’t do anything differently.
Be active – what do we do a lot of on our vacation? Activity! So don’t skimp on it. When you are on vacation, you may be visiting a museum or zoo, swimming at the beach, hiking, biking, and lots and lots of walking. Forget the taxi or taking the rental car to the restaurant. Take good ole’ Pete and Joe!
Practice portion control – I’ve talked about visualizing portions before. We all know how huge the meals are at restaurants. If the portions are out of control, consider sharing an entrée with someone. Or ask for a take home box right away and put half of your dinner in there. My hotel room came with a fridge AND a microwave, so it would have been possible to reheat the rest and enjoy the next day.
Watch your alcohol intake – yea…enough said. Don’t use vacation as an excuse to binge. However I am writing this article while enjoying a Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry. But 95 calories are better than the 171 calories in my ultimate favorite, the Blue Moon! Let’s not even talk about a margarita.
Water – water, water, water. Drink it, love it! By drinking at least 6-8 8 oz. glasses of water, you will actually feel fuller during the day which will prevent you from stuffing yourself at meal time. Another secret about water? If you find yourself hungry, try drinking water instead and see if the feeling passes. Chances are you could be dehydrated rather than hungry for food.
If you want it, have it – I wanted that piece of cake sooooo bad. I had run 13 miles that day and I knew it was going to taste superb. It had been too long since I had hot fudge. Well, it tasted excellent and I got my urge for hot fudge out of my system. I didn’t deprive myself and I only ate half of it. What would have happened if I had deprived myself? I would have ate something else at another time which could have been worse because I had deprived myself so long. I got the taste for hot fudge out of my system!
Here is the biggest problem when people go on vacation: they forget the purpose of vacation. Vacation is for rest and relaxation. Vacation is for visiting places they love or have never been. Vacation is about seeing family whom we love. Vacation is about pursuing activities we love. Vacations are NOT about food and I think that is the trap most people fall into. Maybe if we change our way of thinking we can avoid the five pound gain while away.
Now excuse me while I get my hot fudge off the stove. HA! Just kiddin’ ;-)