Tips for avoiding the all-inclusive-expando-pant disease
You’ve spent countless hours in the gym over the past year, trying desperately to get bikini-ready for that upcoming all-inclusive beach vacation. Finally, travel day comes, you check yourself out in the mirror and you like what you see. Kudos.
Fast forward a week or two when you return home. You check out that same bod in the mirror and it’s not so hot, is it? Definitely not what you looked like pre-vacation. All that hard work down the drain and now you have to start all over to prep for the next trip. Devastating.
I recently stumbled upon a forum post on TripAdvisor, titled “Just for fun - all inclusive weight gain :)).” The poster noted that she was expecting to gain 4-5 pounds during vacation in the Dominican Republic, adding, “It’s unavoidable.”
She’s wrong. You CAN avoid it, and you can do so without starving yourself or going completely sober! Here’s how to make healthy travel happen.
Instead of packing on pounds, pack on fun
At all-inclusive resorts, you have access to food from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed. (When they say unlimited, they mean it!) Avoiding the buffet doesn’t mean starving yourself – but resist the habit of eating just for the sake of eating.
- Fewer meals – Rather than hitting up a restaurant every time you feel like it, limit yourself to your normal three meals per day with small, healthy snacks in between. Simple as that!
- Fewer courses – At meal time, consider cutting out one or two of the four to five courses that most resort restaurants offer (maybe the appetizer and dessert). If you cut out two courses a day for a week, it means you can cut out 14 dishes that you really don’t need, which could add up to several thousand calories in a week.
- Avoid buffets – It’s easy to go to a buffet with the intention of eating well and eating small, but it’s hard to actually do it. Try walking by the mounds of bacon that scream out to you as you head to the fruit bar. Chances are you’ll give in and head straight to the bacon. Oh and the breakfast sausage piled up next to it doesn’t look too bad, either. Oh and those tasty taters. Next thing you know you’ve got a plate full of greasy madness in front of you and you’ve forgotten all about that fruit you went there for in the first place.
- Watch what you drink – There’s nothing quite like lounging on a beautiful beach with a pina colada or a margarita in hand. But before you belly up to the bar, know that each drink packs up to 500 calories. And that’s just one drink! Imagine a whole week of these drinks. We’re talkin’ serious calories and serious extra pounds.
Secret saver tips your waist will thank you for…
- Avoid sugar – Skip cocktails packed with syrups and sodas and opt for lower-calorie drinks, such as wine, light beer, or simple cocktails containing low-calorie mixers (such as orange juice, sparking water, diet soda, etc.). If you crave the sugar, treat yourself once a day.
- Skip the mix – Since most of the calories in a cocktail come from the mix, consider ordering drinks that do well on their own or on the rocks.
- Buddy up to your bartender – Let your bartenders know you’re trying to keep the drink as low-cal as possible without sacrificing taste. These people spend every day mixing one drink after the next, tending to hundreds of people with different tastes, preferences, and dietary needs. Chances are they’ll have just the drink for you!
- Drink water – This might sound like a no-brainer but drink as much water as you can possibly handle when you’re vacationing in the sun. Not only will you stay hydrated, the water will curb hunger and keep you feeling full (i.e. it might keep you from overeating and overdrinking).
While you’re avoiding the buffet, do this…
- Exercise – Most all-inclusive resorts now offer gyms and fitness centers equipped with everything you need for a good workout. Chances are you’ll find yourself indulging a little less if you’re exercising regularly. If the resort doesn’t offer a gym or if you just don’t care for it, take an exercise class, such as aqua aerobics, beachside yoga, etc.
- Participate – Consider signing up for on-resort activities and events that get you moving. Most resorts have beach and pool volleyball matches every day and many have daily activities, such as beach Olympics, which really get you moving. Opt for these over the beer pong face-offs – you’ll be better off!
- Choose active excursions – If you’re planning an excursion or two, consider those that involve walking, hiking or swimming. Avoid the excursions that focus entirely on sitting for hours and indulging on food and drinks (i.e. catamaran cruises).
- Dance the night away – If you’re a night owl on vacation, suss out the dance clubs or disco bars. An evening of dancing can burn hundreds of calories (not to mention it can be a blast!).
- Fitness apps – There are a plethora of apps on the market that allow you to count calories, track your diet habits and count the number of steps you take through the day. Using one of these on vacation can keep you honest about how much you’re eating – and burning off.
Adopt a few of these habits on your next all-inclusive vacation and you’ll see that weight gain is, in fact, avoidable at an-all inclusive resort!
What all-inclusive calorie saving tips do you use on your vacation? The GoGirlfriend community would love to hear. Drop a comment below or connect with us on GoGirlfriend's Facebook page or on Twitter.