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Get Back to Healthy Eating: 8 Easy Steps to Post-Vacation Recovery

Written on 6/24/2008 by Ali Hale who blogs about healthy living for busy people at The Office Diet. You can grab the RSS feed here.

You went on a dream vacation – enjoying gorgeous weather, lazy days by the pool, fun with family and friends, and, of course, lots of indulgent meals, snacks and drinks. But now you’ve returned home to find the dream fast becoming a nightmare – starting with the moment you step on the bathroom scale.

You need a post-vacation recovery plan, to make sure you don’t pile on any more pounds – and to lose that weight you gained quickly and easily. Here’s my eight top ways to get back on the dieting wagon:

  1. Prep the Fridge
    As you struggle home with your luggage, dinner is probably the last thing on your mind. But arriving to an empty fridge often leads to ringing the nearest pizza joint. Instead, leave a key with a friend, and ask them to pick up a few basics for you on the day you’re due back (and promise to reciprocate the favor when they go on vacation!). You’ll have the makings of a healthy meal ready on your return.

Be firm with yourself and get stuck into your normal routine as quickly as possible. That might mean dragging yourself to the gym for your usual Monday workout, or reminding the family that only Friday is “takeout day” – not every night of the week!

And, if you’re like most of us, the figure on your bank balance post-vacation may have been as horrifying as the number on the scales. Easy, healthy meals – perhaps going meat-free a few days of the week – can also help you recover financially…

Don’t let this carry on once you’re home. Grab a small diary or notebook, or open up a new spreadsheet on your computer and write down what you eat and when. If you’ve never kept a food diary before, you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to turn down that tempting cookie when you know you’ll have to write it in your notebook…

Broadening the range of foods you eat is usually beneficial, helping you get plenty of nutrients in your diet for optimal health – and ensuring that you enjoy lots of variety, so that you don’t get bored. Plus, every time you cook your new meal, you’ll be reminded of the great vacation you had. 

If you found a type of exercise that you really enjoyed, why not make it a regular part of your life? Look for a club nearby that offers beginners’ sessions, and sign up. You might soon have a whole new hobby.

Declare the first few days or week after you come home as an “alcohol free zone”. It’ll help you get your wallet and your waist back into a healthier shape – and you’ll be better able to focus when it comes to digging through that inevitable pile of emails…

The main thing to remember is not to panic about having gained a few pounds during your vacation. Giving up on healthy eating entirely is not a good option, but neither is crash dieting. Getting straight back into good routines and habits will see those pounds drop off easily – and you’ll be left with just the happy memories, rather than unwanted weight, from your vacation.

Have you ever put on a lot of weight during a vacation? How did you deal with it? Add any of your tips in the comments below … and hopefully we’ll all learn how to have a wonderful summer!


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