lose weight on vacationHere's an idea so crazy it just might work: losing weight on your vacation. Usually vacation means you're suspending all the rules, eating what you want, and relaxing. Or maybe that's just me? I just got back from eating pretty much all of Paris -- and it was delicious! But I did a few things to offset the damage ... maybe. Anyway, let's be a little more ambitious than "not gaining weight" -- let's talk about actually using your vacation to drop a couple pounds. Think it's too lofty a goal? Here are a few surprising ways to lose weight on vacation that are worth trying.

1. Pack good-for-you snacks. Taking healthy snacks with you (especially for the plane) is a great suggestion from WebMD. Plan ahead and you're less likely to resort to grazing on junk food when you get hungry. Try to stick with your usual eating routine as well, rather than, ehrm, adding new meals like "elevenses."

2. Eat local specialties. The Fodor's forums have a lot of smart ideas for taking the weight off on vacation. One is to choose foods unique to the place you're visiting. Hopefully the local specialties aren't funnel cakes and Funyuns. Skip the fast food and try a dish you've never had, locally-grown produce, anything special to the region that you'll actually taste and will probably contain fewer artificial ingredients.

3. Enjoy one treat a day. No need to be hard on yourself. Instead, allow one indulgence a day -- and make it count. Savor it. We usually rush through meals in our busy lives, but on vacation you have time to eat more slowly. That way you exercise better portion control.

lose weight vacation4. Keep moving with fun activities. Whatever sports, walks, or other "get out and go" things there are to do in the area, check them out. Keep moving! But make sure it's doing something you enjoy, whether that's splashing in a pool or dancing. Rather than taking one of those sight-seeing buses, try exploring on foot. 

5. Choose a vacation location that will help you lose weight. About those fun activities? It's easier to do that if your destination is all about keeping active. Weight Watchers has some suggestions for luxurious weight-loss resorts, but you don't have to do that. You could pick a place with plenty of hiking, for example.

5. Try to keep up your fitness routine. When my boyfriend suggested we run every morning of our vacation, I laughed. But running around Paris was actually a fun way to start the day and see the city. Plus we found an amazing boulangerie along our route -- which we felt justified indulging in since we were exercising. We didn't pull off a workout every day, but we ran a whole lot more than I thought we would. 

6. Slow down. Staying physically active is important, but relaxing is, too. In fact, cutting back on stress allows your adrenal glands to relax, says nutritionist and trainer Danielle Prestejohn. This in turn can help you lose weight. Win-win!

Have you ever lost weight on vacation? Do you think it's actually easier than in everyday life?

 

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