The easiest 10 pounds to lose are the 10 you don’t gain on vacation. But, if you’re anything like me, the easiest week to gain 10 pounds is a week on vacation.
Isn’t that a rather unfortunate coincidence?
But after six months of regularly wearing 37 different hats ranging from the household sous chef to grocery chauffeur, momma needs a vacation. But momma also doesn’t want to need three months to lose her vacation weight when she gets home.
Here are 10 practical ways to keep the weight off this summer:
#1. SLOW down. One of the biggest challenges for everyone (and especially moms) is the pace of modern life. The urgency of everything makes you feel like you never have time to walk anywhere, park at the far edge of the parking lot or take the stair, etc. While you’re on vacation, take a vacation from the constant urgency and slow down. Go ahead, walk somewhere. You’re not in a rush.
#2. Be NEAT. Outside of your resting metabolism, the biggest variable in how many calories you burn is not how much you exercise (no matter how much you exercise), but rather how much you move during your normal life. The technical term we use for this is “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” or NEAT.
#3. Maintain your muscle. Your resting metabolic rate represents 70% or more of the calories you will burn on any given day. How can you influence your resting metabolic rate? Increase muscle. Men have more muscle mass then women which is why it is so much easier for them to lose weight and keep it off. But, one week of working out isn’t enough time to gain any muscle. But, getting in two mini workouts (video included) during a one-week vacation is plenty to keep the muscle you have.
#4. Treat. Don’t cheat. Most women are either “on a diet” or “being bad.” I don’t think I’m the only one who agrees that this is both miserable and counterproductive. Food is food. There’s no “good” and there’s no “bad.” Leave the guilt and deprivation out of this. Focus on finding the maximum ice cream (or whatever your favorite vacation treat) you can eat and still be the size you want to be. In other words, all calories count and you want to figure out how to get maximum enjoyment from them.
#5. Keep your head out of the sand. If you are already in the habit of daily weigh-ins and/or logging your food, keep it up. Keeping up with your weigh-ins allows you to avoid a nasty surprise when you get home. And, if you track your food, log your treats first so you can figure out how to make the most of your remaining calorie budget.
#6. Save for your fave. If you love indulgent dinners with dessert and wine, then eat low-calorie breakfasts and lunches to maintain your daily calorie budget.
#7. Don’t drink your calories. Unless it’s actually your favorite adult beverage (preferably with a little umbrella in it), then save your calories! Besides, who has time for stale beer and cheap wine? Instead, grab a diet soda or sparkling water. (No, diet soda and artificial sweeteners do not cause cancer or make you fat. By definition a food that contains no calories cannot possibly make you fat in this universe.)
#8. Out of sight out of mouth. We are all on a see-food-diet. What we see, we eat. Especially when that food and its packaging have been meticulously and scientifically crafted to stimulate desire and hunger. Stock your beach cooler with fruit. Put veggies at eye level in the beach house fridge. And, if you keep chips in the beach house, put them up and out of your line of sight. This will save you hundreds of impulse calories.
#9. Play. Paddleball on the beach? Compete in a game of chicken in the pool. Whatever you do, just go out and do something while on vacation. Even if you play a game of horseshoes (where you’re mostly standing around), you’ll burn more calories and be less hungry. And, frankly, you’ll make better memories. After all, Netflix will be there when you get home, but the people you don’t see all year will not.
#10. Accept a compliment. Just say “thank you.” 99% of the time when women get compliments on how they look we negate it instead of saying “thank you.” This a form of putting yourself down, and this has a huge impact on your mood. Often when women are down we retreat to comfort food and cover-ups which deepens the vicious cycle. The next time you get a compliment simply say thanks and then stop talking.
Happy Vacation and rest of the Summer!
About the Author: Natillie Brandenburg is the owner of True 180—a women’s only personal training studio in Ballantyne. True 180 Personal Training for women is a safe space where women who don’t necessarily like gyms can get into the best shape of their lives in a safe and sustainable way. Find out more about how we can help you here.