The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily represent those of the staff of CUIndependent.com nor any of its sponsors.
A successful spring break ends with a couple souvenirs, a nice tan and maybe some crazy stories — but not bringing back extra pounds you picked up at the hotel buffet.
The CUI's Amanda Moutinho discusses how to avoid gaining a few pound over spring break in this installment of College, Cardio and Carrots. (CU Independent Illustration/Josh Shettler)
Vacations are tricky business when it comes to weight loss. With our crazy college lives, any break brings welcomed relaxation. Especially if you’ve been spending hours at the gym and skipping all fried foods, vacation is finally your chance to cut loose.
But remember, you’ve been working so hard to shed those pounds, it’s not worth it to gain all that weight back in one week. By following some simple pointers you’ll have a satisfying spring break that doesn’t include massive weight gain.
Set yourself up for success. Pack your fitness clothes along with your club clothes. Buy healthy snacks to eat on the plane or on the road. And even buy an extra box of Special K bars or 100-calorie snack packs so that you’ll have access to healthy snacks all week long.
Nix the sugary drinks
Anywhere you can cut sugar the better, and that starts with saying no to sodas, juices, milkshakes, energy drinks and smoothies – basically anything that isn’t water. Make water your drink of choice. It’ll keep you hydrated, and you’ll save so many unnecessary calories, plus some cash.
This also applies to alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, it’s time to limit all drinks with umbrellas and opt for the lighter choice. Instead of the foot-long margarita or a Long Island Iced Tea, choose something smaller and less sugary like a Sunrise, a Screwdriver, or anything mixed with water or diet soda.
Make smart food choices
If you have your eye on that triple-chocolate-brownie-cookie-sundae-explosion, then choose a salad for dinner. If you’re craving that big cheesy burrito, then skip out on the pre-meal chips and salsa. It’s all about compromise. Decide what you want to splurge on and skip the other stuff.
And keep in mind all the well-known diet tips, especially now that you’re eating more than usual:
Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. Split meals with friends or get a doggy bag. Order grilled, not fried. Order the dressing on the side. Get veggies instead of fries.
Don’t use your vacation as an excuse to eat whatever you want. Those calories will come back to haunt your hips, tummy and thighs. Don’t have your cake and eat it too — unless you had salad as an entrée.
Move as much as possible
Take advantage of the great weather and go outside! Swim, bike, run, hike, rollerblade, surf or just jump around. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, try to make to make time for light to moderate exercise. If you’re lounging by the pool working on your color, take a break, dive into the water and swim a few laps. Some movement is better than none.
And for those who are truly bold, wake up an hour before your crew and hit the hotel gym or go for a run. Your body will thank you.
Acting healthy doesn’t have to be a drag. Experience the culture. Grow your taste buds with local flavors and partake in what the natives do — hula dancing, salsa, wind surfing. Make healthy choices part of your vacation and part of your lifestyle.
But above all, revel in the break from homework, professors and tests. And remember that making lasting memories is more important that a few pounds gained.
In future columns, I will talk to health professionals, discuss my struggles, and try to answer the question of “what is beauty?” Stay tuned for advice for living a healthy life, and to know you’re not the only person struggling with weight issues.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.email@example.com.
- College, Cardio and Carrots: Finding the time
- College, Cardio and Carrots: Losing the weight in college
- College, Cardio and Carrots: The best tool for weight loss
- College, Cardio and Carrots: The dos and don’ts of joining a fitness class
- What happens on spring break, stays on spring break