Return from your trip with "souvenir" pounds? These six tips will help you lose vacation weight
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If there's one thing we wish we could lose from vacation, it's "souvenir" weight. Do you dread getting on the scale after a trip? Follow these six post-vacation tips to get back on track!
Rich foods, large portions, fruity cocktails, and an anything-goes vacation mindset make vacation weight gain common. Unpack your bags and unload the guilt. A few simple changes will get you back on your journey to a healthier you.
Even though laundry and other mundane post-vacation chores await, returning to a busy schedule with competing tasks requires scheduling exercise, too. Whether it's a five-minute walk around the block, a 15-minute jog, or an hour exercise class, plan daily activities to burn extra calories, re-energize, and boost your mood.
Chances are, your vacation dining left you short on high-fiber foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Such filling options will help you feel more satisfied and get your digestive system back on track, too.
Alcoholic beverages and airplane travel may have left you a bit dehydrated. Keep a full water bottle handy even if you aren't leaving the house-it's an excellent reminder to hydrate.
Vacation means eating in restaurants with larger portions than at home. Your stomach may have even become accustomed to overeating. Even if you think you are a pro at estimating, measure your portions back home for a reality check. Excessive restaurant servings can easily cause "portion distortion." It happens to the best of us!
Take charge of your portions. Serve meals on smaller plates: salad plates rather than dinner plates. Use smaller utensils to help slow down the eating process.
You probably cleaned out your fridge of perishable items before you left (if not, start by removing any frightening finds!). Use an empty fridge as an opportunity for a fresh start-stock up with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Ease back into cooking by preparing an easy meal such as Black Beans and Veggies or Avocado Chicken Salad. Your body will appreciate the reprieve from rich restaurant food.
If you want to lose vacation weight, don't punish yourself or dwell on negative thoughts in response to the extra pounds. There is no need to overcorrect by going on a cleanse or living at the gym. Instead, simply get back to the long-term strategies that work for you.
Although it may be daunting to weigh yourself after vacation, consider it a starting point-no judgment involved. Just think, the higher your post-vacation weight, the more rewarding the weight loss will be!
Tracking your food choices with MyNetDiary is the perfect way to refocus your efforts, become aware of your eating habits, and find a supportive community.
Don't cloud wonderful vacation memories by regretting your food choices. Weight loss is a long-term journey, and one setback will not derail your efforts to lose vacation weight. Start planning your next adventure, so you have something to look forward to. You can set a goal to maintain your weight on your next trip.
Original contributions from Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN
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