I just returned from a week-long vacation in Maine full of lobster, french fries, wine, and relaxation — and despite my many splurges, I didn’t gain weight. Here’s how I did it.
I’ve been following the Weight Watchers program for about 6 months now, and I’ve lost 18 pounds! I didn’t want to ruin all my work with a lavish vacation, but I definitely wanted to reward myself and indulge in my favorite things. I’ve never EVER been to a WW meeting (I just do the online program) but serendipitously, I went to one just before vacation and it was SO HELPFUL. First of all, let me say, the meeting was actually fun and left me feeling inspired. There was NO judgement and I learned so much in less than an hour. The topic of the meeting was vacation, so the timing was perfect. The first thing you should ask yourself is, do you want to: 1) Lose weight on vacation 2) Maintain your current weight 3) Allow yourself to gain weight. The third option — to gain weight — is the option I choose, since I did want to really enjoy myself. WW recommends a healthy gain of 2 pounds, which won’t completely disrupt your diet and will be easy to reverse when you get home.
Another super helpful tip I learned is that two meals of the day should be treated as “fuel” and one as “celebratory.” Then, you feel like you are splurging every day, but you don’t need to splurge every meal. I was VERY concerned about eating a ton of lobster on my vacation to Maine, so I planned to splurge on lunches and dinners of lobster rolls rather than a pancake breakfast. I allowed unlimited boiled lobsters and steamed clams, since those are basically lean protein, without guilt, and was thrilled to be eating the local cuisine. Another local favorite I had to eat but was a less healthy option — blueberry pie. I managed this by splitting it with a family member after a couple of dinners. I picked at french fries occasionally but was more concerned about eating things I couldn’t have whenever, wherever.
For the car, I packed apples and nuts for healthy snacks. And instead of stopping at McDonald’s during our 10 hour road trip (each way!), we picked a healthier exit with a Panera, where I got a chicken salad. I definitely drank alcohol during the trip, but since there was a lot of driving involved, many meals were paired with an iced tea, water, or a Diet Coke. Some of my options were limited since I was in small towns, but I tried to pick healthier options at those places. For example, we did have Dunkin’ Donuts almost every morning, but instead of a sugary donut, I opted for an egg and cheese “wake up wrap” which gave me some filling protein in the morning.
I knew my activity would be down from my normal New York City life, and the weather was horrible while I was on vacation, so I wasn’t outside a ton. But we did squeeze in a couple family walks, and I prioritized workouts just before leaving on the trip and the day after my return to get back on track. I still tracked my food and drinks throughout the trip and although I went “over” my point allowance, I was fine with it. Being extra mindful for a couple of days before and after the vacation has paid off — I only gained 2 pounds over the two week period. That could easily be water weight or my body adjusting back to my normal life. Either way, I’m thrilled that I was able to enjoy my vacation without guilt, and without gaining a lot of weight!
HollywoodLifers, will these tips help you to not gain weight on vacation?