How To Shed Those Extra Pounds Before or After Your Vacation

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A women walking on the road
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Where’s my passport? Am I going to make my flight connection? Is there a gas station ahead? These are legit vacation worries. Fretting about vacation weight gain doesn’t need to be one of them.

No one wants to return home from vacation with a tan and ten extra pounds. But it happens. Goodbye salads and smoothies! Bring on the buffet and daily daiquiris! 

Whether you’re getting ready to leave on a trip and wondering how you can keep the diet damage to a minimum…

Or you’ve just returned and realize you’re going to have to wear elastic waist pants to the office on Monday…

Here are 10 weight loss tips — including a couple that might surprise you — that can help get you started on a weight loss journey. It’s all about making a few small changes that together can make a big difference.

Whatever your weight loss goals, we’re here to help!

10 Ways to Overcome Vacation Weight Gain

When it comes to achieving your weight loss goals, you have to start somewhere. Our time is limited and we need realistic advice to be successful in our weight loss journey. You might not be in a position to hire a nutritionist, registered dietitian or a personal trainer and that’s OK because you’ve got what it takes to do it on your own!

Each of these tips is a simple lifestyle change or recommendation to help you shed a few pounds. It’s all about making a few small changes that together can make a big difference.

1. Avoid Unhealthy Carbs

It’s true that not all carbs are created equal. Start by cutting the unhealthy carbs you consume each day. This will jump-start your weight loss journey because it will help you avoid water retention and, even better, it can reduce your appetite.

Unhealthy carbs are those with processed sugars, such as white bread, white rice and sugar-sweetened beverages. Carbs can be broken down into two groups “refined” and “whole” carbs; you want to avoid the “refined” carbs. Find out more about which carbs to cut here.

2. Control Those Portions

Most of the time, our eating habits play the largest role in our weight gain. When you start monitoring your portion sizes, you’ll notice a difference in the number of calories you’re consuming. This doesn’t mean that you can never eat ice cream again, it just means that if you choose to splurge, do so with healthy limits.

Portion control will help you to avoid overeating and will create a healthy balance for mealtimes. If you need assistance, try starting with a portion control plate. These are great for training us to put the right amount of each food group on our plate at mealtime. Portion control is the easiest of all the tips listed here for me. Honestly, it’s easier for me to put a portion limit on myself than to force myself into a diet that limits me completely.

a women exercising to lose vacation weight gain
Photo credit: chironosov from Getty Images Pro

3. Start an Exercise Routine

First of all, an exercise routine will be different for everyone. It’s important to start a routine that is easy for you to maintain. If you make it a goal to do an hour-long at-home workout video each day and it becomes something you dread doing, then you’re more likely to give up. Perhaps what’s best for you is to start with the goal of walking 1 mile each day or running for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Whatever your goal, make sure it’s something you can stick with. The objective is to do some type of exercise EVERY DAY.

It’s also important to find a routine that can be done at your home. I have a gym membership, but I’m not able to use it as frequently as I’d like. If the kids get sick or something comes up, I’m the one who has to shift my schedule to accommodate those things and exercising at the gym is one of the first things to go. This means that I need to have an exercise routine that I can carry out at home.

Having the right exercise gear can make it easier and more fun to work out at home. Here is the at-home work out gear I use:

Read More: 13 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation

4. Drink More Water

I know this tip comes as no surprise to you. It’s worth adding to this list because it’s been said that 75% of people don’t drink enough water. Why is it good for weight loss? For three reasons:

  • It helps boost your metabolism.
  • It helps suppress your appetite.
  • It cleanses your body.

Try one of these motivational water bottles to track your water consumption each day. This is a great healthy habit to continue even after your vacation.

Water glass being filled up, drinking more water is a top for losing the vacation weight gain
Photo credit: monthirayodtiwong from Canva Pro

5. Ensure You Get the Right Nutrients

Losing weight can mean limiting caloric intake. To ensure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients each day, try using a nutritional supplement. If you’re maintaining a good workout routine, a nutritional supplement can also enhance your athletic performance. 


6. Go Ahead and Snack!

Snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on the snacks you choose. If I’m watching TV or working in my office, I’ll find myself frequently visiting my pantry on the hunt for a snack. It’s important for us to acknowledge that we’re going to feel “snacky” and we need to be prepared with healthy snack options. Here are some of our healthy snack favorites:

  • Mixed Nuts
  • Hummus and Veggies
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Apples and Almond Butter
  • Avocado on Sprouted Bread
  • Greek Yogurt


7. Remember the Probiotics

Probiotics help to balance the bacteria in your gut and it’s important to have a healthy gut when you’re trying to lose weight. While this tip alone may not promote weight loss, we think a combination of this suggestion and some of the others on this list will make a difference.

When shopping for probiotics look for one with at least a billion CFU (colony-forming units) like this one. Even my kids take a daily probiotic; it’s a healthy habit for the whole family to start.

SheBuysTravel Tip: These tips will also assist with any holiday weight gain that you may experience. 

8. Take a Nap

You read that right. You need to sleep more. We know that you know you need more sleep, but did you know that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain and actually increases your appetite?

When you are well rested, you have more energy to exercise; it’s harder to stay physically active when you’re tired. Click here to learn more about how poor sleep dramatically alters the way your body responds to food.

9. Ask for Support

This is such an important tip. One that shouldn’t be dismissed. We all need support.

  • You need that friend or family member you can text when you’re about to consume an entire bag of Cheetos because it’s been one of those days with the kids.
  • You need to ask your mate for support so that when you’re getting meals-to-go, they can help pick places that have healthier meal options.
  • Ask the family to go on walks with you or have the kids join in and exercise with you.

Make these healthy lifestyle changes a family affair if possible. Don’t forget that we’re here for you too. Use the hashtag #SheBuysTravel on Instagram and we’ll support your weight loss journey!

10. Diet Less

Diets are hard. Most of my mom friends have complained that a diet is just too much work for them with everything else they need to do. That’s why it’s important to focus on making healthy changes first.

See if you can reach your goals by drinking more water, cutting out unhealthy carbs and sticking to an easy exercise routine. Those efforts will likely last longer than a strict diet.

I’ve never been successful at losing weight by following a strict diet, but I’ve always been successful at losing weight when I focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Read More: How To Exercise in the Car on a Road Trip

Breeze Leonard is a travel enthusiast and the affiliate manager for SheBuysTravel. A marketing and advertising specialist, she is also a social media strategist and travel writer, with several years’ experience writing for digital media. A Texan born and raised, Breeze left a corporate career to fulfill her passion for seeing the world with her three little girls. Their adventures have taken them across the globe, spanning visits to favorite Caribbean isles and motoring cross-country in an RV through some of America’s most beloved national parks. She believes that no adventure is too small and that every memory made, good or bad, is part of the family’s story.
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