How to Avoid Gaining 10 Pounds on Your Next All-Inclusive Vacation
People ask me all the time how I travel so much, and the truth is it can be stressful sometimes. I don’t get much sympathy about that stress, but nevertheless I have it. It’s planning for days working double time getting ready to go. Then, coming back and managing everything that needs to be caught up on. Not to mention, trying to do laundry, work, get groceries for the family, etc. The worst is trying to get back on a healthy eating schedule when I get home and trying to lose any extra weight I may have gained from overindulging.
So, after lots of all-inclusive and cruises, I’ve learned a few ways to keep the weight gain to a minimum, while still enjoying my trip!
Let’s start with cocktails
Right off the bat I’m going to tell you, and I’ve learned the hard way, just AVOID those frozen drinks. You know the ones with the umbrella that look so delicious cold and tempting. One pina colada will run you about 650 calories! A 12 oz. frozen mudslide made with vodka, Kahlua liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream and vanilla ice cream is just about 870 calories. Given that it takes approximately 3600 calories to gain 1 pound, sipping a few of these free-flowing cocktails every day while sitting by the pool can pack on the pounds quickly! What I have switched to is Vodka, water, and fresh lemon squeeze only 115 calories. You can also opt for a glass of rosé which is only about 105 calories or a Corona lite that has only 99 calories. If I get a friendly bartender and am craving something sweet and fruity I go with a Vodka with muddled cherries and limes with half club soda and half sprite. Right under 200 calories and tastes like a Cherry Limeade from Sonic…except with Vodka!
What about that buffet?
It’s easy to pack on the pounds by the all you can eat buffets. My trick, go to the fruit and salad station first. Get a nice big plate of fresh fruit, and veggies and eat it BEFORE you fill up on the fried chicken with biscuits and gravy. If you can, opt for some grilled fish or chicken and avoid the heavy sauces that are available everywhere on those buffets. Skip the bread, you can eat that anywhere and it’s just empty calories.
Sitting down to dinner
Look for options that are grilled even a 6 oz. filet mignon is only about 250 calories; add 4 grilled shrimp for around 55 calories and you have a great meal. Remember the salad, but ask for the dressing on the side and dip your fork in it for each bite instead of slathering it all over. Salad dressing can be packed with calories (save them for the Molten Lava Cake). Stay away from the fried food, unlimited bread and butter, and heavy cream soups.
Many times the higher-end resorts and cruises have pretty healthy options already. Gluten free? I eat gluten-free regularly due to a slight intolerance, I’m not Celiac but I do try to avoid it. It’s easy to do on all these cruises and resorts now. Especially the higher end places, they have wonderful gluten-free options. Remember, gluten-free does not always mean less calories, many times it’s actually MORE calories, so be careful.
JUST WALK AWAY! Half the time they don’t taste as good as they look (ok, only half the time…but still) There are about 350 calories in a piece of chocolate cake, but if they have a jello cup it’s only about 110 calories for an average cup. Go back to the fruit station. How about the unlimited ice cream? Go for the frozen yogurt instead, you can hardly taste the difference and limit yourself to once or twice on the trip. Molten Lava Cake averages about 1,100 calories…3-night cruise, that’s almost a pound gained. Forget the espresso martini for 250 calories and opt for an amaretto on the rocks, at only 110 calories.
Exercise a little
Every resort, hotel, and cruise ship have things to do to work out. I’m not a big lover of exercising on vacation but I try to sneak it in when I can.
Here are a few ideas:
- How about treading water in the pool for about 30 minutes while chatting with your friends in the water. Vigorous water treading can burn 600 calories an hour, of course the lifeguard may think you are flailing around and about to drown, but even moderate water treading will burn 200 calories per hour. So, you go to the deep end of the pool, you can always make your leg workout more intense by trying to hold your cocktail above water while treading, no one will look at you funny!
- I’ve seen a new trend of cycling classes in the pool, they actually put the bikes in the water and do a class. These are fun and you are still a part of the party.
- Another great resort activity to burn some calories is volleyball. A 185-pound person burns about 133 calories in 30 minutes of water volleyball. In the sand, however, the calorie burn is much quicker. The same person burns 355 calories in 30 minutes.
- According to Google, while you should shy away from adding “long walks on the beach” to your dating profile, walking in soft sand burns almost twice the amount of calories as walking the same distance on a flat surface. So, hit the beach and grab your partner and go for a walk!
- Don’t forget to dance the night away whenever possible, too.
All of these options help
But, those calories seem to sneak in because we are relaxed and on vacation and we are more than likely eating more meals than we normally do. When you get home, if you did gain a couple of pounds, you can get it off pretty quickly by 2-3 days of intermittent fasting which I will talk about in one of my next blogs.
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