I recently received an email from my awesome uncle that read: ” Your aunt and I went to Argentina a bit overweight and came back even bigger. Any tips or tricks for dropping the pounds in a hurry? Help!!”
Now that’s a loaded question! And I’m sharing this because I know they’re not alone in having this experience. The reason they returned from their trip “even bigger” is because they enjoyed their vacation!
Traveling to foreign countries is a time to explore another culture, including their food—which, let’s face it, is sometimes the most fun part. I don’t fault them, or anyone, for living life. I hope they (and if this applies to you at some point) don’t regret their choices and instead move forward with getting themselves back on track.
How to Lose Those Vacation Pounds:
Scratch the idea of a “fad diet”. Instead, start with an honest assessment of your current “diet” (and when I say “diet” I simply mean what you are currently eating). I’m a HUGE fan of food journaling so you can actually see and be accountable for your intake. After you look at your habits for a couple days, you can immediately see where and what times of the day are the toughest for you and make the appropriate changes.
Start by looking in your kitchen. Is there anything in there that you do NOT want to eat/KNOW you shouldn’t eat? If so, take one last bite and say “goodbye!” Replace those items with healthy staples: tons of veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meats. Sometimes it can help to buy “portion controlled” snack packs–they make ones with carrots, celery, apples and baked chips. Buy only diet soda or calorie-free flavored teas or water. This is now your repertoire of what you can eat and drink.
Search online for two new healthy recipes each week. Most good recipes include a list of nutritional facts and portion size. Plan your meals and snacks. If you know ahead of time what and when you will eat, you will be less likely to “graze” which is a big downfall for most people.
Don’t deprive yourself completely of your cravings. Allow yourself some treats, but keep them under control and limit it to once or twice a week.
Finish eating by 7:30 or 8pm every night. Make yourself a cup of green tea (they make caffeine free if you need it) and sip that for the remainder of the night. Green tea will help curb your appetite and regulate your blood sugar.
Instead of being a “calorie counter,” try being accountable for your calories. But remember, you can only go so far with food changes. Exercise (30-60 minutes each day) is the vital partner to healthy eating!
Dana Pieper, group exercise innovator, is the creator of Everybody Fitness, an intense total body workout that targets all major muscles and increases cardio endurance to deliver impactful results. Visit Dana’s blog for her “Move of the Week,” fitness tips, inspiration and more or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!