Summer is vacation season, and vacation often means splurging—usually on food and drink. Dietitians are no exception to this rule! I once gained ten pounds on a three-week stint in northern Italy, mostly from pizza, pasta, and wine. Now that you’re home, how do you get back on track? Well you don’t have to become a hermit or only eat lettuce. Here are five simple steps to help you feel your best while dealing with the post-vacation blues!
1) Eat! Each day make sure your meals and snacks are filling – protein, fat, and fiber are nutrients that keep you satisfied longer and limit sugar spikes that lead to bingeing. Veggie omelets, fruit plus low-sugar yogurt, grilled chicken salad (light on the dressing), or a PBJ on whole grain bread are quick meals that provide a combination of these nutrients.
2) Snack! To prevent cravings and low blood sugar, don’t go more than three hours without a small, filling snack, such as a fiber-rich, fresh pear plus a small handful of nuts.
3) Move! Plan exercise into your routine at least three times each week to increase calorie expenditure and decrease stress.
4) Drink more… water! We often mistake thirst for hunger, so drink at least 8 cups of water each day, particularly when exercising.
5) Take a nap! When we are stressed or tired, the body secretes certain hormones, particularly cortisol, that trigger appetite and fat storage.
There you have it! Five simple steps to getting back on track and feeling refreshed!