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How to Not Gain Weight on Vacation or Traveling

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

Sharing tips for how to not gain weight on vacation or traveling. What meals to choose, tips for exercising and how to maintain your weight while you're away.

How to NOT gain weight on vacation! These 5 easy tips will help you stay fit and thin while you're traveling. It includes food tips, workout tips and more!

I want to be completely honest with you. When we were planning our 4-month Europe trip (here's a month 1 recap!), I was really scared I was going to gain weight. I've never been someone who struggles with my weight, but I also like to indulge. I love dessert. I enjoy drinking wine. And I'm definitely not the type of person who's going to not eat things like french fries if they're in front of me (or Matt has some).

So being away from my routine, my daily smoothie bowls, my giant salads, and eating basically whatever I wanted, made me a bit fearful that would affect how I looked.

At the same time though, I don't want to regret anything on this trip. I don't want to hold myself back from enjoying all the amazing food and drinks this continent has to offer. I don't want to get home and wish that I had done things differently. And I definitely want to live in the moment and soak up as much as I can.

How to not gain weight on vacation

How to Not Gain Weight on Vacation

We're one month in and guess what? I haven't gained any weight. I'm exactly where I was when I left and I'm feeling great. Sure I might be drinking more and might have a few more cobwebby mornings, but overall I feel like I do at home (if not better!).

So that brings me to today's post. I wanted to share some of the things I've been doing to maintain my current weight. Basically, I'm giving you all my tips for how to not gain weight on vacation 😊

We'll start by talking about food and then we'll move onto movement as they both play a big role!

1. Have Two Healthy Meals Per Day

Before I left, I met with a health coach and she gave me this advice. She said to focus on having two of your meals per day be your healthy choices and then have your third meal be whatever you want. I actually love this because it's not telling me what or eat, it's just helping guide my decisions. And it gives me the flexibility to basically choose whatever sounds best per day.

Here are some examples of what some days have looked like food-wise:

  • Smoothie for breakfast, giant salad or buddha bowl for lunch, vegan/gf pizza for dinner
  • Gluten-free pancakes for breakfast, smoothie for lunch, fish with veggies for dinner
  • Avocado toast with eggs for breakfast, green juice + falafel for lunch, Thai curry with white rice for dinner

So as you can see, there's a ton of flexibility with this mindset. I basically just try to make sure that I'm getting veggies in at least two of my meals, as well as getting quality protein at each. It's been pretty easy over here!

Best Healthy Resort in Cabo

2. Find Vegan or Plant-Based Restaurants

This probably isn't surprising, but most vegan and plant-based restaurants have healthy options on the menu. And I have to say there are SO many restaurants now that are serving this type of food. And if you can't find a specifically vegan restaurant (or you're with someone who doesn't want to eat that way), just go for the vegetarian option on the menu. It will typically have more veggies, be lighter on the calorie side and you'll feel way better afterward.

3. Walk Everywhere

Now let's turn to the other part of my tips for how to not gain weight on vacation. Exercise. This is a crucial part of the equation if you want to have a little more flexibility with your food. Staying active on vacation is a must. It will not only help you feel better, but you'll be able to more easily maintain your weight this way.

First up: walking. Try to walk everywhere! This is easier if you're visiting a city, but even if you're at the beach, get up off that chair a few times per day and walk down the beach. I have a step goal of 15,000 while I'm over here and sometimes it's a challenge to get that, but I manage. And it really helps!

How to stay active on vacation

4. Daily Workouts

This might not be what you want to hear when you're on vacation, but it's going to help. A LOT. I have been working out every day while I'm here and I feel so much better. I'm a morning exerciser, so I always get up and exercise. It gets it out of the way and sets your day on the right foot.

I change my travel workout routine up depending on where I'm staying. I'll be writing a full post about this soon, but basically here's are some ways to stay active:

  • go for a run outside
  • use your hotel gym for a workout
  • find local fitness studios
  • bring easy-to-pack equipment like resistance bands (more on this soon!)

I have a minimum of 3o minutes for my workout. It's only 30 minutes! And if that means I have to wake up a little earlier because we're doing something like a tour in the morning, I will. It's worth it for me. And again, because I've worked out, I have a little more flexibility with the food and drinks 😉

5. Moderation but Not Restriction

And finally, this is the age-old tip for how to not gain weight on vacation: moderation. I mainly use this mindset for things that are “unhealthy”. I don't want to be restricted from eating something if I want it because it's “unhealthy”, I just enjoy it in moderation.

Desserts, for example, I'll have one per day instead of getting ice cream after lunch and then having dessert with dinner. Or I'll order the smallest size. Or I'll split it with Matt.

Another example is fried food. I'll have a handful or two of chips or split a bag with Matt. I'll eat some fries off his plate, but order the side salad for mine.

Does that make sense? It's basically like I'm not telling myself I can't eat it, I just eat it in moderation!

Frankie and Jo's Ice Cream Seattle

Do you have any tips to share?

I'd love to know if you have any tips for how not to gain weight on vacation! If there's something that has worked for you in the past, definitely let us know in the comments. I love hearing from you!

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  1. It’s really sad that diet culture is so engrained that these are the things you are concerned about 🙁 You’re having a once in a lifetime experience, who cares if you gain some weight? And why are we perpetuating the idea that gaining weight is the worst thing in the world?

    • I appreciate this point of view and thank you for sharing! I didn’t mean for this article to come off by saying that gaining weight is bad by any means, and I’m sorry if it did seem that way to you. But at the same time, I also think a lot of people do struggle with this. So my goal with this article was to share tips that are NOT about dieting at all, but rather about enjoying every moment and not restricting what you’re eating (as I stated in the article). I’m personally enjoying this experience, eating and drinking whatever I want, but still being healthy at the same time. And still feeling great in the process 🙂 hope that makes sense!

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