Summer is here, and many of us will be taking needed time off – an opportunity to break from the routines of our busy lives and relax. Here are some tips to maximize your enjoyment without undermining your weight loss program!
1. Plan ahead to maintain your weight loss goals
Establish a game plan or strategy to sustain your weight loss plan, just like you plan other components of your vacation.
• Catching a plane or taking a long car ride? Pack a food bag/cooler for the trip; things that you like to eat that are consistent with the way you have been eating to lose weight.
• Stopping for a snack or meal on the road? If you have to stop for a snack or a meal, choose a piece of fruit such as an apple, grapes or berries. Avoid high glycemic fruits such as pineapple, banana, melons and mango and processed foods and starches such as cake, candy, chips, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. They may relieve immediate cravings or hunger but you will be hungry soon thereafter and possibly trigger an undesirable chain of events that can sabotage your weight loss efforts even before you reach your destination.
• Tempted by the sauces, condiments and extras at a resort? Bring condiments, snacks and other foods with you or purchase them upon arrival. Salad dressings, cheeses, permitted bars and shakes that you like and are consistent with your weight loss and nutritional diet plan will go a long way in ensuring your success.
• Taking an extended trip? Our on-line store is now open! Your supplements and pantry items can be shipped anywhere in the continental US. Visit cardiomendermd.com/weight-loss-products.
2. Hydrate to Lose Weight
• Water! On vacation we are generally more active and spending more time outdoors increasing our need for hydration. Make a special effort to drink lots of fluids – water being the best choice. Avoid sweetened drinks and juices. In general most adults are chronically dehydrated and our brains confuse thirst with hunger. Don’t make this mistake and interfere with your weight loss efforts! Drink at least a gallon of fluid per day, at least half being water.
• Alcohol? Avoid drinking alcohol particularly when you are taking an appetite suppressant. That being said, if you are going to drink avoid beer and sweet or fruity drinks; choose a low glycemic alcohol such as vodka and mix it with diet soda or diet tonic with a twist. Do NOT take appetite suppressants when you are consuming alcohol.
3. Snack regularly
Try to eat or snack every 3 to 4 hours to maintain an optimal metabolic rate. Don’t allow yourself to get HUNGRY and then just grab what happens to be available at a time when you ‘HAVE to eat something’; that’s often when undesirable food choices are made that hurt your weight loss program.
4. Get physical!
Use your time off as an opportunity to be more active. Go for a walk or take a bike ride. Play a physical game with your significant other, child or friend. If you’re going on a cruise, walk the deck every morning; avoid using the elevator and take the stairs, use the gym if you are able to and so inclined – exercise promotes weight loss!
5. Have fun and cut yourself some slack!
If you do deviate and fall ‘off the wagon’, don’t beat yourself up or use your deviation as an excuse to go ‘AWOL’. Make a commitment before your vacation starts that if you go off your weight loss plan, you can and will get right back on and not break stride.
If you need help, please ask for it. Call or email your weight loss specialists at CardioMender, MD anytime!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Barry Schiff is the Medical Director of CardioMender, MD Weight Loss Specialists serving Miramar, Davie, Weston, Hollywood and the entire South Broward area.
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