Gain relaxation, not pounds, this vacation season
- Resist the urge to splurge
- Make special requests in restaurants, such as ordering sauce or dressing on the side.
- Practice moderation
- Walk everywhere.
- Allow yourself one treat each day.
- Make healthier choices in restaurants.
- Resist the mini bar.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Try to get five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re comfortable.
Writen By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Kaiser Permanente
Remaining health-conscious while on vacation can be a challenge, but with a little discipline and diligence, a week away doesn’t have to equal pounds gained.
It takes daily effort in regular life to keep weight under control, and almost more effort on vacation when so many temptations are high. Dr. Shannon Garton, Family Medicine Physician at Kaiser Permanente’s Edwards Medical Offices, said it’s important to pay close attention to what you’re eating while traveling.
“Typically speaking, most meals eaten at a restaurant will have a higher calorie count than those that we eat at home,” she said. “It is also important to continue to eat fruit and vegetables while on the road. So if people are eating out several meals a day, being conscious of ordering salad or a side vegetable is important. “
As vacationers plan ahead by researching restaurants to try, it’s also smart to determine in advance which menu items might be the healthiest. If travel companions are willing, it’s also a good idea to share dishes in restaurants such as a salad and an entrée as a way to balance out calorie consumption, she said.
“If there is a long car ride or plane flight involved, it is important to have food that will help you feel satisfied, and not simply stoke cravings for further junk food,” Garton said. “Chips and cookies don’t fill us up for long, and often have salts or sugars which drive us to continue eating them.”
When snacks are healthier, such as fruit, vegetables, jerky or nuts, it helps curb cravings.
“It is important to be conscious of liquid calories whether it is in the form of a smoothie, soda or alcohol,” she said. “Enjoy these types of treats in moderation.”
Don’t ditch your exercise routines
Research shows that exercise improves mood, boosts energy and can help you sleep better — perfect for a vacation.
Summertime offers a lot of opportunities to get outside and be active, Garton said.
She recommends staying hydrated and wearing plenty of sun protection while doing activities outdoors, and to always pack along the proper footwear.
“Whether hiking, biking, running, rafting — wearing proper foot wear that gives protection and support is important to protect yourself from injury,” she said.
For people used to exercising indoors, many strengthening exercises can be done outdoors or even in a hotel room, she said.
“Even small increments of exercise daily can help to keep (your body) conditioned,” she said.
Those who like to stick to the outdoor activities also need to remember to stay hydrated and look for areas where you can find shade, she said.
“Being in the hot sun all day long can catch up with you, so it is important to think about hydration and protection from constant sun exposure to avoid developing, heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” Garton said.