I actually lost weight while on the road for a month.
Please don’t hate me.
Having surveyed thousands of people about what is the biggest difficulty in keeping their weight under control, that which ranks highest is staying in control while traveling; not a shock I’m sure. However, for a few of us, it’s the opposite; I lose weight easier while on the road. So, although I usually don’t use this space as an “advice” or “how-to” column, since we are entering the “vacation and travel season;” I share my simple and easy techniques to avoid coming home with “extra baggage.”
Whether it’s five minutes or five miles, make sure to take some time every day to be on your feet, especially if you’ve been in a plane or car for long hours. Given the option of stairs or elevators, opt for the stairs. Should you be visiting a mall or shopping center, choose a parking space further from the entrance.
Not only do these (literal) small steps burn calories, but also they help keep you refreshed and alert, leading to an increased chance that you’ll make additional correct decisions later.
2. Water, water, water
Drinking boatloads of water not only keeps you hydrated, exceptionally important if you’re on a plane or in warmer weather. Beyond that, it helps give you a sense of fullness, causing you to eat less. Drink at least one glass of water BEFORE each meal; it makes a difference. If you’re a soda drinker, substitute water at least once a day.
3. Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts…
It doesn’t matter if the information on the Nutrition Facts labels looks like a foreign language; compare them. Ask for nutritional information at restaurants. (Some states require that the calorie count is listed; but many still do not.)
Even if all you do is choose a meal with 50 fewer calories each time, that totals over 1,000 calories you didn’t eat in a week, about a third of a pound you’re won’t be packing around your waist. As in most things, small changes make a large difference over time.
4. Make it special
Many times, travel is looked at as an excuse to chuck self-control in the recycle bin. Sure, there can be a celebratory feeling to a family trip (and rightly so), but, let’s be honest, do you really feel happy when you’re over-indulging non-stop?
My solution? Moderation is easier if you only indulge (a little) on foods you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, have when you’re home. For example, peanut butter is peanut butter is peanut butter, no matter where I am. However, a specialty dessert from a restaurant that’s not in my town? That’s a rare treat. I’ll order that (but no seconds).
5. Clean your living space
Don’t bring food into your room! Keeping your environment clean of temptations cuts out pounds of mindless eating. Should you get a major case of late night munchies, and there’s nothing in grasp, you’ll be less inclined to put on your bunny slippers and traipse off to the vending machine than you would if food is within reach.
6. Be realistic
Finally, no matter how dedicated you are, staying in control on the road is a minefield. Don’t deprive yourself; but do think before you eat and make conscious choices. Should you slip up, don’t berate yourself. Taking a vacation from negative self-talk is the least expensive vacation you can get — and definitely the most fun.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com Get his free ebook of motivational quotations and one year of his highly-popular Monday Motivational Memos at no charge by visiting his website. He is also available for coaching and speaking.