We're staying put this year, but if you're planning to get out of town, now's the time to plan ahead for successful weight management while you're vacationing. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your goals SMART--and in particular, keep your goals Realistic. In working with clients and students, my observation has been that weight management is usually a more realistic goal than weight loss, even if you're successfully losing weight right now. It's much better to come back from vacation weighing the same than it is to start over again losing those 3 pounds you lost last month.
- Plan ahead for physical activity. Many clients and students find that their vacation plans naturally lend themselves to exercise. For example, cruises--despite the food temptations--are where many of my clients have lost weight on vacation. One client deliberately booked her cabin on the lowest floor, and took the stairs at every opportunity. Another explored a variety of different exercise classes (and fell in love with yoga in the process). I've had many clients book walking tours, and squeeze in their physical exercise while taking in the local scene.
- Plan ahead for healthy eating. When we head out for a road trip, I pack lots of raw fruits and veggies for noshing on while we're driving. I also pack some healthy meal options for when we arrive. Whether you're headed for the airport, cruise liner, or a road trip, you can likewise enjoy weight management success by looking ahead for challenges, planning ahead for how to handle them, and following through on your plans.
- Plan ahead for assertive communication. When meals involve family, it can be challenging to say no to Grandma's meatloaf, lasagna, or tacos. Now's the time to decide how you'll handle relatives who believe food is love: Do you need to ask Auntie to pack up an extra helping of her potato salad to go? Or tell Grandma that "It looks so good, and I can't wait to try some later, but right now I'm not hungry"?
- Plan ahead for adequate hydration. Between my walnut-sized bladder and my reluctance to pay for bottled water, getting in enough water can be challenging. Think ahead to when you can squeeze in a little extra water before you get started on your day's activities.