(Fort Washington, PA, Thursday, June 22, 2017) - The average American gains 0.7 pounds while on vacation, according to a 2016 study. While that may not sound like much, the news when you drill down isnâ€™t so great. Some of the 122 adults in the study gained as much as seven pounds. And that three-quarters of a pound hadnâ€™t gone away when the study participants were weighed six weeks after they returned home.
It likely became another factor in what scientists call â€ścreeping obesity,â€ť the one to two pounds or more that you put on during holidays and vacations that sets up permanent residence and grows every year. It can push someone whoâ€™s just overweight into the obese category, upping health risks significantly. Here are some tips to avoid gaining vacation weight:
- Watch your alcohol intake. People who normally had eight drinks a week nudged it up to 16 on vacation. Bodies donâ€™t recognize liquid calories when doling out appetite-suppressing hormones.
- Stay active: Walking on the beach burns almost twice as many calories as walking on a less giving surface. Walking around a new city to see the sights can burn more than 200 calories per hour.
- Make special requests: Ask for salad dressing on the side or, request balsamic vinegar. Avoid fried platters; most restaurants serve the same foods broiled or baked. If a menu item says â€ścreamy,â€ť avoid it.
Some other tips include:
- Order what you want, but only eat some of it: Eat slowly to allow time to register the calories. It takes 20 minutes before your brain picks up the appetite & satiety chemicals that eating releases.
- BYO snacks and meals: Take advantage of motel fridges to keep low-fat yogurts, cheese sticks and veggies handy so you have healthy options at your disposal.
- Weigh yourself the minute you get back: The only way to get rid of weight gain is to be aware that itâ€™s there and to jump back on the wagon until itâ€™s gone.
- Have a post-vacation plan ready: If losing weight after a trip is a priority, have a weekâ€™s worth of meal ideas ready for when you return from vacation.
- Stay busy: Figure youâ€™re going to miss the daily ice cream treats, shipboard buffets and tropical drinks you enjoyed on vacation, so find something to distract yourself.