Many people gain weight on vacation but you can avoid this with some planning.

I'm a realistic person and don't expect people not to relax, even their healthy eating habits, when they go away on holidays. I do.

But too many people go overboard on the relaxing part, overindulging for too many days and put on an extra five to 10 pounds while on vacation. Do this annually and in only five years you could be 50 pounds overweight.

My Maui Diet

I spent 17 days in Maui and it was an incredible holiday. It was my first trip on an airplane with Carys, my 10 month old daughter, and I got married to my beautiful wife Samantha on the spectacular beach at Kapula Bay.

We had close family with us during the first week so there was a lot of celebrating and happy hours on the lanai. I even perfected my pina colada recipe. Suffice to say we indulged a lot more than we normally would. But if you're going to indulge and eat junk food then Maui chips, chocolate covered macadamia nuts and roasted coconut and pineapple ice cream are the way to go.

I also drank alcohol more frequently than I do at home. Beers, margaritas, pina coladas, I love them all. And I'm sure many people do the same when they go away. But I also took some precautions to avoid the post-vacation weight scale blues.

Tips to Avoid the Vacation Weight Gain

So while I certainly indulged in foods I don't eat as frequently at home, here's what I did to avoid packing on the pounds:

  • I kept up with my exercise routine. Maintaining your weight comes down to calories in versus calories out. I made sure I was still expending quite a few calories by playing in the beautiful Hawaiian outdoors. Some days I'd end up having 2 hours or more of activity. But it didn't feel like working out.
  • I ate "clean" during the day. I knew most of the empty calories I'd be consuming would come later in the day and at night (alcohol, happy hour snacks and after dinner desserts). I made sure that during the morning and daytime I ate fresh fruit, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats. I also ate less during the day. 
  • Even when I did indulge I didn't go overboard. Our dinners were still healthy with good protein and veggies. We just happened to have a few more drinks on certain nights.
  • Before leaving I ramped up my exercise routine somewhat and ate well. Upon returning I'll do the same, including running a marathon. A vacation is only a short time away from my regular routine. I've planned to relax and be less strict but only by knowing that before and after the holiday I've stuck to my fitness and nutrition program very diligently.

Follow my advice and you, too, can have your cake while on holidays and eat it too. Just don't have too big a slice.