Every year, people become excited to go on a summer vacation but most of them worry about the likelihood of gaining a few pounds while they are away from their normal routine. It does not have to be that way!

Last year, during a 10-day summer vacation, I actually lost 2 pounds without really trying to lose weight. It surprised me as much as it is probably surprising you while you read this; up until then I didn’t know a single family member or friend who had actually lost weight on vacation. To me, it was simply impossible unless you consciously went on vacation with the intent to have a miserable time while you helplessly watched your family indulge themselves every day. What? Celery sticks on vacay? Are you nuts?

So, how do you not gain weight on vacation?

Here’s how I lost weight without really trying:

  • I picked a hotel with fitness amenities. It’s difficult to find a hotel with a full gym but if you conduct a decent search, you can at least find one with a workout room. The hotel I went to had a full rack of dumbbells up to 50 lbs., an elliptical machine, a recumbent cardio bike, and a complimentary towel! The room was only 700 square feet or so, but do you know what? While on vacation, I worked out every single morning at 8:00 A.M. for just 30 minutes and except on a rare occasion, I was the only one in the room. What does that tell you? People simply do not make it a point to work out during their vacation.
  • I kept my drinking to a minimum. Inhow-to-not-gain-weight-on-vacationstead of the usual umbrella drinks, I opted for Bacardi and Diet Coke on the 2 days out of the 10 that I drank alcohol. When I am trying to lose weight at home, I simply cannot shed any pounds unless I cut out alcohol entirely. So it makes sense that abstaining from alcohol or at least limiting it will prevent me from gaining any pounds while I’m enjoying my vacation.
  • I stayed active. If I would have stayed in the hotel room the whole time and only went out to eat a restaurant, I would have gained 5 pounds. Instead, I planned activities daily and tuck to the plan! Snorkeling one day, swimming poolside the next, fishing another day, sightseeing; it all adds up to being active and burning calories without trying.
  • I avoided high carb foods. Baked potatoes were out the window! About the only carbs I would eat throughout the day were the two whole wheat toast I would have almost every morning with egg whites and a cup of coffee. When we ate at a restaurant, my lunches would consist of a protein source such as chicken or fish coupled with green beans or asparagus. On one occasion I ate a sweet potato without butter and that was splurging for me! If I got hungry in between meals, I always kept fresh Boar’s Head Meats and non-fat American cheese in the miniature hotel refrigerator and I would eat roll-ups.

That’s it! Although I didn’t thoroughly enjoy just about every single meal like I normally would, the end result was that I lost two pounds during vacation. And I had a great time!