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How To Enjoy Your Vacation Without Gaining Weight

Follow these easy tips to prevent yourself from coming home with extra pounds.

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Put On Your Walking Shoes

Walking is one of the easiest ways to sneak in a calorie burn without sacrificing precious vacation time. A quick way to amp up a leisurely stroll is with bouts of brisk walking, says Brendan J. Fox, a Toronto Health and Fitness Expert. This could be as simple as picking a landmark and walking briskly until you reach your target, walking at a relaxed pace until you recover and then repeating.

“High effort walking will engage the heart and lungs for better cardio, and your metabolism will get revved up for greater fat burning,” explains Fox.

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Take Advantage of Hotel Amenities

There’s always the hotel gym…but what if you forgot your gear or frankly can’t be bothered to pack it? Now you really have no excuses thanks to the Westin Hotel & Resorts exclusive New Balance Gear Lending Program, which allows guests to borrow everything from footwear to apparel at a minimal fee of $5 (and you get the keep the socks!).

The program, which is available at all of their 190 hotels worldwide, also includes in-room fitness and equipment-free workouts designed by New Balance’s Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins, so you don’t even have to leave your room to get your sweat on.

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Plan Ahead and Pack Snacks

Being hungry and left wandering the airport in search of food is a surefire way to end up scarfing down sugary or high-fat foods. The problem is packaged, processed snack foods like chips, candy, baked goods and chocolate bars won’t fill you up for long. They’ll actually end up intensifying your cravings for carbs and sugars throughout your travels, says Sarah Remmer, a Calgary-based registered dietitian.

Instead, pack healthy snacks such as high fibre granola bars, fruit, nuts and seeds, or whole-wheat crackers and peanut butter, so you’re never without a healthy option.

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Watch Your Alcohol Intake

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A little sand, sun and a few margaritas sounds innocent enough, but those 200-400 calorie drinks can quickly add up. Plus, you’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when you’ve had a few too many.

“Make sure you have a good meal before you start drinking,” says Remmer, as a full stomach will help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the body. And remember to always  have water or soda water in-between drinks to stay hydrated.

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Indulge…With Caution

Giving up your favourite treats on vacation isn’t exactly the definition of a great escape. The best way to indulge in your can’t miss favourites is to do it mindfully, says Remmer.

“Be picky with your treats,” she says. “Indulge in treats that you really love and when you do have a treat, portion it out.” Let yourself enjoy it and know that you can have more tomorrow. A “get it in now” mentality will guarantee a pig-out.

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Master The Buffet Table

The countless options at the buffet table can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to make healthy choices. The first place to start is with your plate. “Choose a smaller plate,” advises Remmer. “You’ll take less.”

Secondly, fill half of your plate with salads or veggies, then head straight over to the protein-rich foods like meats, fish and beans, filling one-quarter of your plate with lower fat options.

Lastly, the last quarter of your plate can be one or two grain or starch options like pasta, rice or bread, preferably opting for whole grains. “Give yourself 30 minutes to finish your first portion,” says Remmer, “and if you’re not quite full head back for more veggies and protein.”