It doesn’t take more than a week of vacation to leave us feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed. However, with all the endless opportunities for eating, it’s easy to return from Spring Break feeling bloated and heavy. The idea of stepping on a scale can be intimidating for most people, especially after a week of indulgences.
“Weight gain over vacation is normal and typically a combination of large portion sizes, unhealthy food choices, excessive alcohol use and a lack of physical activity,” says Kelly Hoffheins, a nutritionist at UHS.
“When you get home from break, you usually are aware if you need to make changes to your lifestyle without even knowing your exact weight,” she adds.
One of the most important things to keep in mind after returning from a vacation is that you have to give your body time to readjust to its normal routine. Hoffheins recommends getting back into the swing of things by picking up where you left off in your healthy lifestyle and focusing on techniques of intuitive eating. By listening to your body’s signals that tell you when you are satisfied, your weight should be back to normal in no time.
Avoid temptations to try rapid weight loss diets and cleanses. While the advertisements in the media for these products may seem effective, the results are often exaggerated and can leave you feeling worse.
“Eliminating treats causes a person to feel deprived and when you feel deprived you are more likely to overeat the food you were avoiding when you get the opportunity to eat it again,” Hoffheins says.
Hitting the gym after a week of lounging by the pool will also help you beat the body blues and improve your mood. Forget militant workouts and ease back into your daily workout routine by starting with 30-40 minutes of cardio each day. Anything that simply increases your heart rate and gets your body moving will wake up your muscles and let them know its time to get back to work!
Tip to try: next time you’re on vacation, incorporate some exercise to your daily routine. Hoffheins suggests going for a walk on the beach, riding a bike or taking scenic a hike.
Don’t let the stress of your next weigh-in interfere with post-vacation relaxation. Always remember that what you see on the scale is just a number- how your body feels is what’s most important.
Photo by Jen Nagel