Vacations are for letting your hair down and easing up on the rules. But there's nothing rejuvenating about coming back 5 (or more) pounds heavier than when you left. Calories in drinks and "fun" food add up fast, so use these four easy strategies to have your fried clams, fruity drink, or burger and beer without gaining an ounce.
1) Drink (water) when you drive
"If you're getting to your destination by driving, the recirculated air in a car can make you thirsty, which you might mistake for hunger," says Charles Stuart Platkin, MPH, founder of dietdetective.com. Keep plenty of water on hand. Plus, driving all day cuts your average daily calorie burn by 400-even more reason to tamp down unnecessary snacking.
2) Seek fresh, not fast, food
Although a handful of drive-thrus sit right off the highway, a grocery store-with many more good-for-you options-is probably only a few minutes further; there you can get a healthy meal-turkey on whole wheat from the deli, an apple, and fat-free yogurt--for less than 350 calories.
3) Get your walk, swim, cycle, or groove on
If your destination is a city, get acquainted with it on foot. Or consider booking a walking or cycling tour (for example, of California's wine country). And try not to equate chilling out at the pool with lounging all day. The more calories you burn splashing around in the water (about 200 an hour) and dancing the night away (about 300 an hour), the less you'll have to worry about the ones in your piña colada.
4) Book a room with a kitchen
Studies show that the more frequently you eat out, the more likely you are to experience weight gain, because restaurants load you up with hidden calories. If possible, book accommodations with a kitchen; it may cost slightly more, but you'll save a bundle by cooking. Aim to prepare all your breakfasts, plus either one lunch or dinner each day.
More Tips for Health Vacation Travel from Prevention
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