Surviving summer vacation without gaining weight

Summer means vacation time for most folks, and it could also mean time to worry about your waistline. The average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation. It doesn’t have to be that way though, you just need to decide how you want your return home to be. You could return more slim than when you left by following six simple tips.

Trick #1: Watch your carbs.
Let’s face it, our favourite vacation foods are carbs including ice cream, fried food, cookies, cakes, chips. By just making conscious choices to limit these things, you can really save your summer. Eat your healthy meal portions first, and then you will be full, and less likely to crave the junk.

Trick #2: Move your body. Some of my favourite vacation memories involve running, cycling, hiking, water skiing or active elements on vacation. I’ve certainly done my fair share of sitting around, but by moving my body during my vacation, I now only come home fit and trim, but I get to see lots of cool places that sitting in the hotel compound or trailer park would have prevented.

Trick #3: Enjoy fun food just limit sizes. I like to indulge as much as anyone, probably more actually. So to help myself out, I order smaller portions like the lunch size when I eat something I know is going to be ‘off the plan’. Another trick is to ask for a ‘to go’ bag and only eat half of the portion at one sitting, and save the rest for later.

Trick #4: Go for a walk after supper. It is SO easy to eat a lot for supper on vacation, and then sit around. After a good meal, get up and go for a walk, switch your body into digestion mode instead of ‘fat storage’ mode. Eating a big meal late at night and then sitting around until bedtime is a sure fire way to gain weight. Another great time for a walk is before breakfast, it can really set your metabolism up for the whole day.

Trick #5: Eat healthy snacks. It is really tempting on a road trip or vacation to snack out of boredom on junk food. Especially since gas stations along the way are full of it. Try carrots or cut up peppers or fruit instead.

Trick #6: Watch for fried foods and heavy sauces. Deep-fried foods and foods with creamy sauces are loaded with fat. Fat gives your body nine calories per gram, where protein and carbs only bring in four calories per gram. There are lots of ways to cook great meals that taste wonderful and avoid the excess fat that will cause you to regret the indulgence.

And finally, how to make your own healthy potato salad:

If you are like me summer means a lot of things and food is certainly a big party of that list! One of my favourite summer foods is a nice potato salad – trouble is, the regular version isn’t exactly healthy! A normal recipe for potato salad can contain as much as 22 grams of fat! Wouldn’t it be great if you could change potato salad to be healthy?

Easy: Add together 8 egg whites, boiled and chopped, 4 ounces of cubed potato (boiled and peeled first), plus some green onion cut up – one or two will do. I like to add some diced yellow peppers (1/2 cup) for added taste and vitamins! Then separately mix together ½ cup of non fat, plain yogurt with some mustard powder, oregano and black pepper – you can play with the amounts, but about 2 dashes of each. A dash is a little less than an 1/8 teaspoon. Now mix both sets of ingredients together until well blended.

You have a delicious, nutritious potato salad that could be an entire meal for one person at 342 calories, 1 gram of fat (yes ONE gram), 38 grams of healthy protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates. You can also split this salad in half and enjoy a salad plus maybe a lean meat. It will still feel like summer, but you won’t pay the price on the weigh scale later!

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake. He can be reached at 403-887-7667 or check out for more information.