Friday, July 20, 2012

Weight Maintenance While Traveling

Ah. Vacations! I would be leading you astray if I didn't tell you that one of my favorite parts about vacations is eating out! I do love to cook but I hate cleaning it up! Vacation means no cooking and no cleaning! With unadulterated eating however comes extra poundage that everyone gets frantic about trying to lose upon return. And I don't know about you, but it is so much easier to put the weight on than it is to get it to come off. With that being said, I do believe that you can have your cake and eat it too. Here are my own personal travel rules minced with some tips I've picked up in various articles along the way.

1) Most important is my travel snack bag. I have to eat every two and half to three hours (and really, you should too) which means I have to be prepared where ever I go. On vacation in particular this includes the following:

* My shaker cup and Isagenix shake for breakfast. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day and therefore I have to start my day with the right amount of protein, carbs and fat and this shake with its 77 active enzymes does it all. Not to mention, it's a time saver when you want to get on the road!
* Bag of almonds. These are not only pertinent for in-between meal snacks, but also a healthy fat to help slow the absorption of the sweets you know you are inevitably going to be partaking in. I chased Sprinkles Cupcakes down with five almonds and after having at least one of those puppies every day for three days, I didn't gain an ounce, literally.
* LaraBars or NuGo bars. I find that I'm hungrier than normal when I travel. I think there tends to be a little extra anxiety, walking and playing which in turns equals the need for a little more fuel. Larabars are awesome with only four or so ingredients that are all natural. I've also found the gluten-free and soy-free Trail Mix NuGo bar that has 10 grams of protein in it from nuts and seeds to be fantastic. Those are a purse staple for me.
* Water bottle. Drink, drink and drink some more. Try to avoid the soda.
* Packet of oatmeal. This is great for breakfast as well but also when I get snacky at night, it's not the worst thing I could have. Kashi makes a tasty vanilla oatmeal that has some protein in it which is a plus.
* Packet of tuna. I picked this trick up elsewhere but find it totally awesome. Packed with protein and very portable, another fantastic snack. I told you - I'm all about the snacks people.
*Bar of dark chocolate. I seriously crave my dark chocolate. Have to have it. This is also good to help me fight the sweet tooth cravings and make a less than savory choice on something else.
*Go to the local grocery store and get a 'munch' food. What's your craving? Is it salty? Is it sweet? Find a little something to nosh on in place of stopping for fries or a pastry. We like Pirate's Booty and Terra chips. The Terra chips are awesome because they are just baked veggies (one whole serving of vegetables).
* Vitamins and fish oil to keep your immune system bolstered. The fish oil is also a natural anti-inflammatory.

So, that's part one. Part two is the eating out bit right? This isn't too bad either. This is all about portion control.
* Water should be drunk 20 minutes prior to and following a meal to allow your body to digest the food without diluting the nutrients in the meal. Try and drink before the meal as this will help with managing the amount you eat.
*Always get a salad or some raw veggies to help digest your food (raw veggies still have active enzymes intact to help digestion). Dressing on the side is of course a good way to go. This also leaves less room for a massive caloric entree.
* Section your plate in half and ask for a to-go box when they bring the meal out (and immediately scrape half the entree into the box) or only eat the half you already set aside when it was it put in front of you.
* Try to eat treats before four o'clock and have just a serving (and always have with a healthy fat!). Eat slow, enjoy every bite and be good to not have seconds. You also don't have to order the 'Gotta to Have It' sizes. :) You can also see if anyone wants to share something.
* Regardless of where you are, try to fit in some exercise. We went on a little trip recently and I wasn't able to slip away to the gym so I put on my tenni's in my room and did some jump roping, jumping jacks, knee pulls, lunges, kickboxing and the like for 10 - 20 minutes. If I did 10 minutes, I did another 10 minutes at night as well. I was hugely surprised on this trip that I had ice cream every night (yes, I broke my own rule) and still didn't gain any weight. BUT, I was eating well on my other meals and not binging. I recently read that 10 minute bursts of exercise during the day can be more beneficial than a lump 20-30 minutes. Who knows... At any rate, try to fit some exercise in to help burn some of the extra calories you will be consuming.
* Still try to stick to the '10' rule. If the food or treat isn't a '10' for you, don't have it. Food is incredibly social and that can be the hardest part for me sometimes. I just have to remind myself that skipping on foods that aren't '10's for me keeps me on track (and I really like the track I'm on), saves major calories and I can socialize without a full mouth.
* Finally, just enjoy. Being disciplined doesn't have to be stressful or frustrating. You are just taking care of you. You can enjoy what you eat and even splurge. That's the final part of the mental aspect of this. If you are freaked out and counting calories, it may do you more harm than good. That stress can up cortisol-levels (stress hormone) which affects your midsection. LOVE your body, treat it good and it will be good back to you.

And finally...
**DON'T get on your scale when you get home. Get back into your groove of exercising and eating normally and wait a week if you really feel you need to check the scale. Weigh-in on a Friday and not a Monday. Weight is always highest at the beginning of the week.

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