3 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain on Vacation


By: , – Elizabeth Fassberg, R.D., Family Circle
  :  12 comments   :  12,927 Views

Italy is known for its fabulous food and wine and the Avaglianos spent ten days enjoying the food and culture. I was not about to tell them to skip the specialties of the country but I also didn’t want them to put on all the weight they had lost over the last few months.
Vacations can cause you to tip the scale if you are not careful. To avoid the damage, you’ll need to be mindful of how much food you are putting in your mouth. 
  1. Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals. If it’s a really great sandwich or pasta dish simply share it with someone and have a salad on the side or a side of vegetables without any sauce. Italy is also known for its delicious gelato—you can usually get a very small scoop and it won’t set you back with too many calories.
  2. Don’t make every meal a heavy one. If you know you want to try a special restaurant for lunch and drink some of the local wine, then make dinner a lighter meal, maybe grabbing fresh produce from the market and making a big salad in your hotel room. Or going to a small restaurant where they don’t mind if you share plates and order less food.
  3. If you can, plan ahead and do lots of walking to burn off some of the extra calories. 
Buon appetito!
Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.
More from Family Circle:What steps do you take to stay healthy on your vacations?

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  • 12
    I think these are good tips even when you are traveling for the holidays or at home! - 12/9/2014   3:35:03 AM
  • 11
    My vacations are in the U.S. They involve seeing family which takes me nearly from one end of Ohio to 3/4s way across the state. I have lots of travel time. I love to stop at local places, I visited when I lived in Ohio. I love to walk. I try to take in everything in moderation. Boy that is tough. My last several trips. I go to a restraurant and take half of my food back to my room. I eat it later for a meal instead of having an extra time of eating out. - 12/1/2012   12:54:45 PM
  • MRE1956
    What's that word again......."vacation", you say? Huh........that doesn't appear to be in my vocabulary (at least for the past few years, anyhow)..... :( - 11/28/2012   4:00:46 PM
  • 9
    My husband have traveled a bit, and in almost every hotel they have a gym. Plus we do alot of walking. We plan ahead for the plane also by taking healthy snacks. The last time we went away, I came home exactly even. I considered that a plus! - 11/27/2012   6:52:11 PM
  • 8
    I spent 5 weeks in Italy and lost 5 lbs while eating like an Italian - light bkfst, decent lunch (love those panini!), gelato snack, and salad and pasta (and wine) for dinner. I walked EVERYWHERE, so I think that balanced out the food. - 11/27/2012   6:23:27 PM
    Being a university lecturer means I get 5 months of vacation a year. When you travel for 2 months at a time it's pretty hard not to gain weight. I get lots of exercise, but that that's a lot of eating out at restaurants! - 11/27/2012   5:32:21 PM
  • 6
    I usually walk everywhere on vacation, so many times I come home weighing less than when I left. - 11/27/2012   11:44:22 AM
  • 5
    Went on a 7-day cruise once and avoided weight gain by doing active shore excursions, walking around the boat a ton, and MOST importantly, vowing to never take the elevator and instead ALWAYS using the stairs between decks. - 11/27/2012   10:11:42 AM
    Simple, sensible, effective and very do-able - very good, thanks. - 11/27/2012   9:54:51 AM
  • 3
    1. Keep up your exercise routine.
    2. Eat as the locals do, unless you are in the US, in which find a grocery store and limit yourself to eating out once a day. - 11/27/2012   9:23:33 AM
  • 2
    My husband and I travel frequently and we love to eat. Some things that have worked for us:
    1. Make sure you have water readily available - cuts down on grazing when you're really just thirsty and not hungry.
    2. Bring a few snacks that handle temperature change well. We've found Kind bars to be particularly good because after having one large meal we're often not that hungry later but if we go out just to "get a bite" it almost always turns into a mini or not so mini meal. A nice cup of tea or coffee and a Kind bar is often enough.
    3. Walk, walk, walk
    4. Skip the entrée. At a nice restaurant we often have a drink, a couple of appetizers, and share a dessert. It usually results in delicious food without the stuffed to the gills feeling afterwards. - 11/27/2012   9:19:18 AM
  • 1
    I love to travel and sampling the local food is a big part of the experience for me. Elizabeth gave some good advice, especially that part about walking! Even when I am taking a tour with a group, I can usually find a like-minded person (or two) for a walking buddy which makes exploring new places even more fun.

    A note of caution: shopping in local markets is fine (and delicious) in many countries, but check to be sure the produce and water are safe beforehand to avoid travel disaster. - 11/27/2012   9:09:02 AM

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