Every time you go away on vacation, I know what you’re thinking: “There goes my diet!” It’s a pretty easy assumption to believe that all of the food you’re planning to consume while away is going to pack on the pounds.
That was certainly my biggest worry when I recently spent two weeks in Spain and Italy (two countries known for their love of meat, bread and grains). But despite me not eating particularly healthy while I was gone, I still managed to lose weight! Here are the five surprising tricks I learned for losing weight while on vacation.
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1. Share your meals
Every single time I sat down to eat, I made sure to split everything we were having. This way, I reasoned, the two of us would get to try more food. Typically, this meant splitting an appetizer, entree and dessert during both lunch and dinner. In the end, despite the three courses twice a day, I ultimately ate less calories overall.
2. Walk EVERYWHERE
When I’m home, I hate exercise. I spend months trying to psych myself up for it, start working out, and then give up on it about three weeks later. However, when planning my vacation to big cities, I made sure that our hotel was in the center of town so that there would be plenty of walking. After spending two weeks walking at least six hours a day, my pants definitely felt a little looser!
3. Drink wine!
I didn’t necessarily do it on purpose, but for two weeks I drank nothing but plenty of water to keep hydrated, espresso in the morning to wake up a little and then wine at night with dinner. It wasn’t unusual to for me to split a bottle of wine between two people but it kept me from drinking something much worse: soda! That was definitely a big win.
4. Buy fruit snacks
Most of my meals, unfortunately, didn’t really include very many vegetables. However, I made sure to eat at least a little bit healthily by buying fruit snacks while I was out and about. It wasn’t difficult to find apples, bananas and oranges while I was roaming the streets of wherever I was. Having that extra intake of fiber (with very little calories) definitely helped me to feel good.
5. Don’t stress
Many of us take a vacation in order to reduce stress and, well, that’s the best thing you can do for your weight loss since chronic stress can actually increase appetite--and thus cause us to put on the pounds. The best thing I did in the past two weeks (and the 5 pounds I lost can attest to this!) is stop worrying about everything, including my diet. That is what, ultimately, actually helped my diet instead.