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Want a Vacation from Dieting?
Vacations offer great opportunities to recharge your batteries and get away from day-to-day stress. The only problem that most of us face is eating healthy and staying in shape while enjoying the break from routine. The secret to staying in shape or at least keeping pounds from piling on is this: stay active. Choose a vacation that affords you plenty of opportunity to walk, swim, dance, hike, bike or otherwise exercise daily to avoid weight gain from those tempting foods you’re bound to treat yourself to.
Have an Adventure
Depending on your level of activity, you may want to seek out a hiking, biking, skiing or even horseback-riding adventure vacation. Contact an adventure tour company or travel agent to discover possibilities around the world!
For something a bit less strenuous, consider a spa vacation with activities like yoga, Pilates, swimming and also plenty of walking. You’ll feel so invigorated you won’t want to go home.
Remember to pack your sneakers!
Stay away from trips that center around food, but don’t rule out cruises entirely. If you have enough will power to steer clear of the midnight buffets and tables piled three feet deep in desserts, then a cruise can be a fun getaway option. A cruise offers some advantages like an onboard fitness center and spa that can become a useful part of your active day. Or you can go deck-side and use the outdoor track to stay ahead of any extra calorie consumption.
Before you dock, be sure to book a land excursion that offers plenty of walking. Avoid bus tours. Instead, head out to the Mayan ruins where you’ll do a lot of walking or explore other parts of the world. Ask the concierge on board for recommendations. Remember to drink plenty of water – stick with bottled water -- especially in the hotter climates and limit your consumption of high-calorie alcoholic beverages. Before heading out, grab your water bottle and an apple or other healthy snack.
At dinner, stay away from breads – you have much better uses for those high-carb calories. Go light on breakfast and lunch and splurge a bit with dinner. As a general rule, you’ll probably want to skip the fancy fried or butter-laden appetizers and stick with a healthy fresh salad, enjoy a sensational entrée and then, if you’ve been doing those laps on deck or in the pool, you can indulge in a dessert. After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and go night-clubbing. Get into the music and movement.
If you prefer low-fat, low-calorie or low-salt meals, request them. Find out if the resort or cruise-line offers this option.
Check with your cruise-line to see if they offer fitness cruises. Once a year, Carnival has a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise with motivational workshops, fitness and nutrition classes for individuals of all levels of fitness. You can find out more at: www.shape.com/cruise.
For more tips on eating while traveling, check out our other article, “Tips for Business Travelers and Vacationers on Eating While Traveling.”
Enjoy the Sun and Fun
If you’re planning a beach resort vacation, much of the same advice holds true. Incorporate a vigorous swim and frequent walks on the beach. The key is to stay active and enjoy all that the resort has to offer.
I’ll say it again: pack those sneakers. Whether you’re traveling by sea, air, rails or car, the most important rule is to keep it active. Don’t just drive around looking at the sights, get out and walk the parks, beaches, cities and scenic areas you visit. If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure they have a fitness center and a pool – and enjoy them!
While you may eat a bit more than usual on vacation, if you stay active you can easily burn more calories and prevent the average vacationer’s woe: weight gain.
Go ahead; enjoy your vacation from dieting. Just remember: stay active and you’ll stay trim!