Pound the Pavement to Keep Vacation Pounds Away

Walking on Pavement for Exercise
Photo Courtesy of #BennehBoy

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Sarah Scrafford, an industry critic, as well as a regular contributor on the subject of RN.

I hate vacations, not because I’m a workaholic, but because I’m one of the unlucky millions who gains two pounds for every one that I sweat and toil to shed, simply by looking at a cheese burger. Working hard to keep my weight in check all through the year and then gaining back a considerable number during two weeks of vacation, well, that’s not something I would wish on even my worst enemy.

But my vacations being what they are – long lazy hours lying in the sun, elaborate five-course dinners, ice-cream sundaes to beat the midday heat – the scales tip upward rather rapidly even before I’ve unpacked the last bag. Being the hedonist that I am for those two weeks, my taste buds would never forgive me if I put them through the crackers and water test.

And once back to the daily grind of mundane work, there’s just not enough time to dedicate to more hours of working out at the gym, and working more than 9 to 5 hours makes me cranky when I’m forced to go on a diet. All I can do is stick to what I’ve been doing before I left for the vacation (which turns out to be a weight-watcher’s nightmare in hindsight) and rue the fact that the buttons on those snug jeans are repelling each other like similar poles of a magnet.


Caught between the devil and the deep sea, I took a firm decision – to have my cake and eat it too and still stay slim and shapely. I would eat all I wanted while on vacation, but I would make sure those delicious bites were never converted to even an ounce of fat on my body. And if you’re wondering how on earth I managed to pull that off, keep reading.

  • I replaced my stilettos with sensible walking shoes, and I walked. I walked up and down the stairs at my hotel, I chose the table furthest from the door at the restaurant, I left my computer and cell phone behind and walked to the furthest Internet café and public phone each time I needed to communicate with people back home and at the office. Since I’m addicted to both my phone and the Internet, this strategy worked wonders for it ensured that I would have to walk at least a mile a day.
  • I found a bicycle and explored the town – it beat taking public transportation or driving a car.
  • Instead of just lazing in the pool, I actually swam a few laps everyday (and then allowed myself to laze).
  • I filled myself with fluids, water in particular, just before I kept my date with the sagging buffet table. Window shopping was all I could do, as my stomach could only hold so much with all that water sloshing inside. Of course, my mouth watered long after the tables were cleared, but by then it was too late to let go of my self control.
  • And when I did let go and stuff myself, I made sure it was before my long walks or bicycle rides. Instant energy for those activities equates to no extra pounds on my hips and waist.

The scales told the whole story on my return home. Not only did I manage to keep the excess pounds at bay, I also returned refreshed and ready for work, not hung over and lethargic as I usually do.

Sarah invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address:

About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (15)

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  1. faroukNo Gravatar says:

    you are right, weight loss is all about life style changes and not just a change in eating habits

  2. I have read on one of a blog that a woman lose weight for 5 days just eating from fast food, that one I don’t believe, but your way is much credible.

  3. puolapuutNo Gravatar says:

    Food poisoning works better than any diet 🙂

  4. MonavieNo Gravatar says:

    My friends as starting to do some “planned eating” diet. One lost 40 pounds in 3 months. Now all my friends are doing it.

  5. liaNo Gravatar says:

    All those a fantastic tips. The trick is definitely keep moving and don’t laze too much. We typically like to think that our stomachs are on vacation when we are and lie to ourselves that we are immune to the most unhealthy foods. But this is not true. Even on vacations we have to watch what we eat and do.
    thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Well, I can’t say that I’ve ever thought my stomach was on vacation. It’s funny, I’ve always resolved to ‘up the exercise’ in proportion to the increased food intake, but it never seems to happen. My body truly likes to just vacation, and then make up for it afterwards.

  6. The key to a planned eating is to do it wisely. go stepped I stepped and accustom your Buddy to the changes.

  7. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Vacations are particularly tricky because your mindset changes. Most people effectively “give themselves permission” to let loose and go a bit overboard when they are on a vacation, which can create real problems when it comes time to order dinner (and dessert!).

    Good tips here, always helps to stay active, even when you are supposed to be “relaxing” on vacation.

  8. DanNo Gravatar says:

    My friend opened a bachelor party at his backyard before his wedding. He was flooded with loads of drinks and foods after that, and now he’s suffering a stomach pain and weight gain over the weekend…. how funny…

  9. Stron OneNo Gravatar says:

    I feel your pain. I just returned from vacation recently and I gained a couple pounds.. nothing horrific, but definitely but a dent in my progress.
    I guess it’s kind of a see-saw mentality. I mean it IS a vacation.. you’re supposed to enjoy your time off. But in the same token.. don’t go ballistic in your habits.
    I did gorge.. and did eat some pretty fattening foods. But I also knew what I was doing. I knew I’d have to ‘pay myself back’ for my slacking!
    You gotta take the bitter with the sour sometimes and simply enjoy.
    Great post!

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