With summer winding down, chances are that your vacation and warm weather get-togethers may have led to the abandonment of healthy routines. Extra pina coladas at the pool or additional servings of chips and desserts at backyard barbeques may have thrown routine eating habits off the rails. Intense humidity may have squelched your interest in hitting the trails and running outdoors. As a result, the scale ticked upwards and reality has set in that it's time to get back to healthy living.
In a study by TripAdvisor, 29 percent of vacationers noted that they gained weight due to an abundance of food and beverage temptations. In addition, a third of all respondents said they planned to start a diet once they returned home. Since the majority of travelers surveyed said they are more likely to overindulge while on vacation, getting back on track after vacation is a priority this time of year.
So what are the best strategies for a healthy homecoming and bouncing back to a restored wellness routine?
"The best defense is a good offense when it comes to setting yourself up for a healthy return from vacation," said Retrofit Lead Registered Dietitian Amy Margulies.
Margulies offers the following tips, which she calls TRACK tactics. She promises that these suggestions will help the transition from vacation to reality go as smoothly as possible.
- T is for Thirst: Eliminate the threat of thirst. Stock up on calorie-free sparkling and plain water so that it is easily accessible. In this blog highlighting tips to combat hunger, we're reminded that often thirst can be mistaken for hunger. When insufficient water is consumed, your body receives mixed signals. Dehydration can cause the body to feel hungry when you are actually just behind in your liquid consumption.
While stocking the refrigerator and pantry, take a proactive approach and strategically arrange the healthy options. "If you place produce and healthy foods at eye level, you will likely choose them first. In addition, be sure to remove any foods that you feel you uncontrolled around," said Plotnek.
Now that vacation is over, it may be apparent that you paid the price in terms of calories and pounds. What now? Forge ahead and remember to work on long-term weight loss goals and strategies.
Step on the scale and own that number. Then, go over all of the strides that were taken prior to vacation to put health and wellness back on your radar.
Margulies says, "If you sit around depressed that you've gained a few pounds on vacation, you will likely continue to make poor choices."
So, go ahead and enjoy that extra cocktail while on vacation. It is very important to not agonize over unhealthy choices made on summer holidays. Compassion, positive thinking and an "I can" attitude is what will ultimately act as the motivation to tip the scales back in the right direction.