By Fodor’s Editor
Avoid Airplane Food
Pizza, re-heated steaks smothered in heavy sauces, greasy potato chips, chocolate-chip cookies — this starchy, high-carb junk food is instant death to any diet. Bring your own food when you fly (nuts, celery sticks, carrots), and drink plenty of water.
“Whenever I travel I throw into my carryon some nutrition/energy bars and pick up a few pieces of fruit. Even if flight is short, there can be unplanned for time on tarmac, in terminal.”
Fast Food Verboten!
McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s — this junk food is everywhere, so why would you eat it on vacation? Use your precious time in London, Moscow, or Honolulu to seek out local flavors.
“And I never eat at fast food joints like McDonalds or Burger King unless I’m stuck waiting in an airport with nowhere to go for hours and I’m starved. If you take a “vacation” from naughty fast food and processed food, you’re probably better off, even though you might indulge on lots of meals at restaurants and some desserts.”
Do Like (Active) Locals
On vacation do as active locals do. So when in Paris, San Francisco, or Santa Monica, rollerblade. When in Vancouver, B.C., rig a sail. In Buenos Aires, take a tango class, and if you’re in the Caribbean, learn windsurfing or diving.
“I’ve taken step classes in Mexico (Spanish), aerobics classes in Switzerland (French)… not so much for the exercise but it is a great way to get a peek at local life!”
Either/Or But Not Both
When dining, plan your indulgences carefully. Yes, you can have the marzipan crépe with strawberry glaze, but not if you’ve also ordered the pasta special.
“I lost 10 lbs on my last 2 week vacation. I drank wine, and had one sweet indulgence every day.”
Get Off Your Butt
The best way to see a city is to walk it. Sure, you can save time riding a bus or subway, but just think how many calories you’ll burn if you walk to all those museums and restaurants. If you’re not given to hoofing it, make it an adventure: get a map and scope out a great route through the city’s best sights
“I brought my pedometer, and there were days that I was hiking between 8 and 12 miles per day. While I wasn’t trekking like this every day for three weeks, even in the “down” days I was walking a couple of miles anyway, so I was able to keep up a constant “exercise regimen” just by default.”
Let’s Do Lunch!
To avoid vacation weight gain, try eating one big meal each day in the middle of the day, followed by a light dinner. You’ll save money too, as lunch is always cheaper than dinner.
“Secondly, what we do is have a big, restful lunch and a light or no dinner. It Italy, dinner is gelato. Worked pretty well in Paris also. Save a lot of money this way too. But occasionally we save up appetite for a dinner in a nice restaurant.”
Find the Gym!
Most hotels these days have gyms, whether you’re in Dubai, Sitka, or Saba. True, the gym might be a smelly room with really old machines, but you’ll benefit from paying a visit. What’s more, many lodgings offer free sessions with an onsite trainer. Ask the concierge.
“I travel often and, even in Italy where I ADORE the food, I do not generally gain weight. I take my morning run most days while there, unless I am in a place that does not feel quite safe to me, but that is rare. I also find gyms wherever I go and keep up my 3-4 days a week weight lifting routine.”