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10 Ways to Lose Weight and Improve Health on Vacation

Natalie
Stein
February 26, 2024
10 Ways to Lose Weight and Improve Health on Vacation
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In this article:

  • Vacations can give you a change of pace and provide a welcome relief from your regular daily routine.
  • You can get additional mental and physical health benefits while on vacation by focusing on relationships and yourself, adding physical activity, discovering healthy foods, and getting more sleep.
  • You can take these benefits home with you and turn them into sustainable habits for weight management and health.
  • Lark can help you lose weight with or without GLP-1s as you log food, get tips for eating healthier, and make small changes that can turn into healthy habits.

There’s plenty to look forward to when you go on vacation, from a change in your daily routine to exciting new experiences and souvenirs. Something you may not want to bring home with you though, is extra weight.

Many people see travel as disruptive to their healthy lifestyle, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, vacations can offer healthy opportunities everywhere you turn. The important part is to be on the lookout.

Here are 10 ways you can eat well, be active, improve your mental health, and more while you’re on vacation. You may find that you enjoy your vacation even more when you know you’re doing what you can to maintain your health.

1. Increase productivity

Research shows that people who use more of their vacation time from work tend to be more productive and efficient. They can also be happier and healthier.

Boost the benefit: Since the productivity increase may come from the break in a monotonous daily routine, consider switching it up even more with new experiences like visiting museums, taking an art or cooking class that you wouldn’t normally consider, or seeing concerts or shows.

2. Pursue fitness

Vacations offer opportunities to try new activities in different environments, such as hiking, or skiing in mountains, canoeing or kayaking in rivers, or surfing in oceans. Use these activities as motivation to train year-round so that when you come back next year, you’ll be able to participate even more.

Boost the benefit: Look for a local event that draws you back the following year. It might be an annual 5k or 10k walk, or possibly a cycling event. Use it as motivation to train when you get back home.

3. Strengthen relationships

Being in a different setting can be a wonderful opportunity to get to know people better. Your bond can strengthen as you travel to dream destinations and share new experiences.

Boost the benefit: Take advantage of being relaxed and unhurried as you have long conversations together. Think about how you might continue to communicate with each other when you return home, such as by regularly setting aside more time for each other.

4. Practice mindfulness

Being mindful can help you appreciate life and improve self-awareness. It can also reduce stress and support a healthier weight. You can practice mindfulness in everyday life, but vacation can be a good time to brush up on your mindfulness skills.

  1. There may be a lot of occasions that you want to be sure to sense, or observe, while you’re on vacation. That might include special meals, visiting tourist attractions, or seeing friends or family that you’re visiting.
  2. You may have fewer distractions, like work, chores, and errands, that would get in the way of noticing what’s happening around you.

Boost the benefit: Try practicing mindfulness at least 2-3 times a day, such as at meals or in bed before falling asleep. Notice how your body feels and what you can see and hear.

Depending on the situation, you might also think about things like how your food smells and tastes or who’s around you.

5. Find yourself

Daily life can come with so many responsibilities that our own needs and wants can get lost. Vacations are times to leave behind duties and routines, and take time for ourselves, whether that means sitting by a pool, skydiving, shopping, or taking cooking classes.

Boost the benefit: Focus on yourself for at least a few minutes a day. This might include doing at least one activity that’s your choice, even if it’s not with the other members of your traveling party. You can keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings about your vacation and anything else that comes to mind.

6. Be active

You can be active and healthy without hitting the gym (though that’s a great option for people who love it!). Vacation destinations offer all kinds of opportunities to be active. One of the simplest ways to get active is to walk to every site that you can. Use the walking time to notice local architecture or native plants. You can also look for hikes or organized options like walking tours, bike tours, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, or other classes.

Boost the benefit: Keep up your active vacation lifestyle when you get home by walking to places more often or taking specialty fitness classes that you love.

7. Eat healthier

Some people worry about weight gain while on vacation, but being away from home can be a great opportunity to eat healthier and lose weight. Here are two reasons why.

  1. When you eat at restaurants, you can order vegetables and other fresh, healthy foods without having to shop and cook them yourself.
  2. If you’re staying in a hotel or are out and about most of the day, you’re less likely to spend time near a fully stocked kitchen and less likely to snack mindlessly.

Boost the benefit: Look for meals that are heavy in vegetables and fruits. You might try local specialties made with seasonal produce and traditional flavors, and shop at farmers’ markets for fresh items to have for a picnic. You can also practice mindfulness by tasting each food carefully and noticing your hunger and fullness so you only eat what your body needs.

8. Get more sleep

Getting adequate sleep can lower stress, improve the regulation of blood sugar and hunger levels, and normalize glucose metabolism. Many adults don’t get enough sleep, but vacations can leave you extra time for sleep if you’re not worrying about work and housekeeping.

Boost the benefit: Try setting a consistent vacation bedtime. Even if it’s much earlier or later than your at-home bedtime, keeping a consistent bedtime while on vacation can support healthier sleep and better rest. Try sleeping until you’re ready to wake up naturally, without an alarm, throughout the vacation.

9. Unplug

Smartphones, laptops, and other devices can take over our lives and brains. Unplugging for a while can relieve us from pressure related to feeling the need to respond immediately. Looking up from phones can let us see the world around us, including the people we’re with and the sights to see while on vacation. Plus, turning off screens before bedtime can improve sleep.

Boost the benefit: Think about how liberating it may feel to unplug and see if you can keep up that habit when you return home. Try setting aside some screen-free time daily.

10. Feel empowered

Even dream vacations come with challenges from making reservations, to communicating in a foreign language, to changing plans due to unexpected weather, getting sick, finding a new attraction to visit, missing a connecting flight, or any number of other reasons. Recognize and appreciate your ability to handle these challenges and take this skill back home with you.

Boost the benefit: Consider challenging yourself intentionally during your vacation in a

low-pressure way. For example, you might decide to take public transportation instead of renting a car, which means you’ll need to figure out the local transportation system. You may find that you’re capable of more than you thought!

How Lark Can Help

Weight loss and management are easier when you have the foods you need, so it’s important to know how to select the best options. Lark offers additional tools and support. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle so you can lose weight and keep it off with or without GLP-1 medications.

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

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Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

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