Dieting On Vacation: Oh Boy! (Eric Lupher)

By: Leslie Fichera
By: Leslie Fichera

Hey 11 News Fit Club followers. First off, I want to update you on my progress. I’ve lost 21 pounds! I’m seven pounds away from my goal. Here’s the problem though: I am taking a trip to Las Vegas and quite frankly I’m a little nervous.

Dieting On Vacation: Oh Boy!

Hey 11 News Fit Club followers. First off, I want to update you on my progress. I’ve lost 21 pounds! I’m seven pounds away from my goal. Here’s the problem though: I am taking a trip to Las Vegas and quite frankly I’m a little nervous.

Before I got serious with this lifestyle change, vacation was a free-for-all, eat whatever is in front of me type deal. I’ve been to Vegas a lot. Here’s what my daily meals would usually consist of there:

Breakfast: A Buffet consisting of tons of pancakes, waffles, eggs, and sausage. You get the point. You all know what a breakfast buffet looks like.

Lunch: Fast food joint

Dinner: Either a big fat Italian meal or something. One thing was always the same: GIANT portion sizes.

And let’s not forget, I would snack on stuff pretty much all day.

If I resort to that kind of diet this time around, the 21 pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose will be sliced in half right before my eyes. But this time I am committed not to fly off the handle. My goal is to try and maintain my weight while I’m gone. Okay, that might be difficult but I will be very disappointed in myself if I gain more than a few pounds.

I needed some help. So, I contacted Martha Rosenau, a registered dietitian who specializes in intuitive eating and weight management. She says no one HAS to gain weight on vacation. When she said that I was kind of caught off guard. For me(and I know for a lot of people) vacation is a time to “let yourself go”. You know the saying. “Eh .. I’m on vacation.” Rosenau says it’s that kind of mind set that could really get you into trouble. She says if you’ve committed yourself to a lifestyle change, not only should you try and continue to follow it but she says your eating habits will have automatically changed. “You’ll make better choices,” said Rosenau.

That’s when I asked this question: “So, can I at least have a splurge day?” That’s when Rosenau caught something that I had never thought of before. She said that by me asking that question I was pretty much treating every other meal(other than the so called “splurge”) as a punishment rather than simply a nice healthy meal. She says not to think of a splurge as a reward. She says to simply base EVERY meal on how much “fuel” I have burned during the day. Which takes us back to the basics of weight loss. It’s all about the calories in/calories out ratio. “If you burned a lot of fuel that particular day, you can get away with things.”

Which brings me to the next tip: Get some exercise while on vacation. That way you’re burning the fuel that will ALLOW you to have a little extra when you go to say a fancy Vegas restaurant. “You have all the time in the world when you’re on vacation,” said Rosenau. That shouldn’t be a problem for me. I will be walking everywhere in Vegas and to top it all off, I plan to hit the gym at my hotel at least a couple times while I’m there.

But there is one more thing Rosenau told me that I really think will make a big difference. She says, “as long as you go by hunger and fullness you shouldn’t have a problem.” In other words, Rosenau says don’t eat if you’re not hungry and don’t keep eating if you’re full. You’d be surprised how many calories we eat without even realizing it.

I also asked Rosenau if it was possible to gain 5 to 10 pounds on vacation. She says you would have to do a lot of work. Here’s an example: 3500 calories = 1 pound. That means you would have to eat 17,500 additional calories over your allotted amount during a seven day period just to gain 5 pounds. That’s a lot of calories!

I have to say, after talking with Rosenau I am feeling pretty good about my vacation.

Here’s a recap:

-When I arrive I won’t consider anything as a “splurge”. I will simply get plenty of exercise so when I do decide to eat something ‘not so healthy’ it won’t matter.

-Rather than considering every meal other than my so called “splurge” as a punishment, I will look at those meals as simply “healthier choices” instead.

-I won’t eat if I’m not hungry and I won’t eat more if I’m full.

Wish me luck. No guaranteesJ

If you would like help with weight management, contact Martha Rosenau at (719) 548-9859


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