Vacations are a special time to explore, relax and enjoy oneself. How thrilling it is to get away from the routine and disconnect from the office, housework, emails and meetings. Most of us return refreshed and renewed with a little pep in our step after leaving behind our cares for a while. Unfortunately, feeling lighter refers only to our emotional state and doesn’t reflect our actual weight. In fact, studies show during each weeklong vacation, the average person gains three to five pounds. Remember this is an average, yet based on travel location and access to food like on a cruise, one could easily see those numbers double.
The good news is everyone on vacation does not gain weight. The elite club of vacationers who do not come home gaining more is a group that is easy to join. With a few simple strategies, not only might you avoid gaining weight during trips but, you may even lose a few pounds.
1. Select hotels in the middle of the action! Staying close to the main attractions might cost a little bit more but can save you on transportation and pounds. Try when possible to walk to destinations within reach. Many cities have extensive rail systems and even walking to the train stops can add in significant physical activity during the day. Just be smart, plan it out and wear walking shoes.
2. Ask for a room within stair-climbing distance (floors two through four) when checking in to your hotel. Stairs are a great way to get exercise. Take them up and down throughout your trip. Check with the front-desk person and make sure the stairs are safe and available — no fun getting stuck in a hotel stairway or activating the alarm system. Yes, I have experienced both.
3. Start meals with a big salad. Buffets are abundant on many vacation destinations, and on cruise ships they never end. Have a plan to fill up on vegetables first and be conscious of your meal and dessert. Often we make choices without thinking about them. Nibble on naughty items or split a decadent dessert with someone you love. This one little step can make a huge difference.
Vacations are good for the mind, body and soul. Rest is as necessary as breath and water. Getting away doesn’t have to mean gaining a few extra pounds. How nice it will be to return home feeling refreshed, renewed and with room, extra wiggle room, in your pants.