It’s what most people have been waiting all year for – relaxation and fun in the sun, enjoying all our weight-loss efforts as we bathe in our bikini (or James Bond Speedos!). And on vacation the last thing anyone wants to be doing is feeling that they’re missing out on the fun because they’re too afraid to have a drink or enjoy a dessert after a great meal.
One of the best things about Food Optimising is the fantastic flexibility it gives when on vacation. And a great way to beat 'Back Home Blues' is for anyone watching their weight to have a plan before heading off on vacation. Chances are people who are managing their weight by learning new healthy habits won’t want to do too much damage and will choose to eat healthily most of the time with changes like asking for dressings and sauces on the side, trimming fat of meat and cutting out sugar being automatic.
For most people who struggle with their weight it will come down to deciding whether they are going to enjoy a dessert or perhaps ice cream each day. Or perhaps having an aperitif before dinner every evening will be their treat. The important thing is to stay aware of what they are eating and drinking and decide before heading off on vacation what strategy they’ll choose to avoid guilt, disappointment, and self-deception.
Top planning tips for keeping weight loss on track when on vacation:
- Pack healthy lifesavers in case they aren’t available at the vacation destination – low calorie cooking spray, whole-wheat bread, low-fat salad dressings, etc.
- If you’re planning to eat out in the evening, enjoy a fabulous breakfast and lunch by filling up on foods that are extra low in energy density such as fat-free yogurt, omelets, fruit and vegetables – then you can indulge a bit more at the restaurant.
- Restaurants and hotel buffets tend to be very generous with pre-meal extras such as olives, bread drenched in oil or butter, and nuts - and let’s face it, they’re hard to resist! A combination of choice power and food know-how will help you make the best decisions. If there’s meat, trim the fat; if there’s a salad bar, go easy on the mayonnaise-laden foods; and fill up on lots of vegetables, rice or potatoes – as long as they aren’t covered in oil or butter.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up if you want a baked potato instead of fries, an undressed salad or fresh fruit and sorbet instead of a rich pudding.
- If your hotel has a pool, make the most of it – whether it’s a few quiet lengths in the early morning/late afternoon lull, or exuberant splashing with the kids.
- If you’re out for drinks, alternate alcoholic drinks with diet sodas or water, mix club soda with your wine to make a spritzer and cut down on high calorie beer. It’s easy after a few drinks to lose your resolve to stick to healthier eating so be aware, and if you do go off track, don’t beat yourself up. Put it behind you and get straight back on plan as soon as possible. That’s life!
‘If I can do it, anybody can do it’
Mom of three sheds 111 pounds after spring break roller-coaster embarrassment
Last spring, Kim Wright was enjoying a day at Six Flags with her children when she endured a level of humiliation she’d never felt before.
As they stood in line for the Batman roller coaster ride, the kids wanted to sit in the front row but they knew that wouldn’t be possible; their mom was too big for the regular-sized seats. Row Five, which includes one large seat, was always their only option.
As the family stepped onto the ride to be strapped in, Kim was struck by a horrible realization: “I didn’t fit in it,” she says. “No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the belt to latch. They had to get three attendants to push me in, so I was holding up the ride. Everybody was like, ‘What’s taking so long?’ At that moment I saw this look on my kids’ faces. They were so embarrassed for me.”
It was then that Kim decided she’d had enough. Since then, Kim has lost 111lbs, going from her highest weight of 289lbs and a size 30+ to a size 12/14.
“I wasn’t taking care of myself,” says Kim, 41, whose three children are now 14, 13 and 11. Throughout her weight-loss journey, her children have been her biggest cheerleaders: “My youngest daughter recently said, ‘Now when I hug you I can reach all the way around!’”
Last summer, the Wright family took another trip to Six Flags. At the Batman ride, “we got into the front row, where my kids wanted to sit,” she says. “I was able to hop into that little chair and buckle myself in. The looks on my kids’ faces – they were so super-proud of me.”
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Rice Salad with Tuna
Spring salmon parcels
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
3 mixed bell peppers, de-seeded and chopped
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup easy cook long grain and wild rice
14oz canned tomatoes in sauce, drained
7oz canned tuna in spring water, drained
3½oz snow peas
1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
2. On a large nonstick baking tray mix the bell peppers, red onion, and eggplant. Add the basil and balsamic vinegar and season to taste. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, cook the rice for 18 minutes in lightly salted boiling water and then drain.
4. Transfer the drained rice to a large bowl and mix in the cooked vegetables, drained tomatoes, and tuna.
5. Blanch the snow peas in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain, cooling under cold running water.
6. Add the snow peas to the rice salad. Store in a sealed container until ready to eat.
ABOUT SLIMMING WORLD
Slimming World, the UK’s leading weight loss organization,* launched in America in 2012. It was founded in 1969 and promises people looking to lose weight a healthy eating plan that offers satisfaction without hunger or deprivation based on the science of satiety and energy density; support that offers compassion, empathy and understanding, and an activity program to suit individual needs and preferences. Members following the program lose weight by eating foods like pasta, potatoes, lean meat, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables without having to count, weight or measure. Some foods like candy or alcohol are enjoyed in measured amounts. Slimming World has a deep awareness of the emotional, physical and psychological challenges faced by overweight people, and this understanding underscores the company’s philosophy and methods. In more than four decades, Slimming World has helped millions of people to lose weight and live healthier, happier lives.
- Slimming World helps more people to lose weight in its motivating support groups each week than any other internationally renowned weight loss organization.
- Slimming World holds more weekly support groups and has more highly trained Consultants leading its groups than any other weight loss organization in the UK.
- Slimming World magazine is the market leader by circulation in the UK.
- This statement is not based on online membership in the UK, turnover, profit or revenues; it refers to the number of people who choose to lose weight at a Slimming World group each week compared to any other internationally renowned weight loss organization.