PART II Tips while ON vacation:
As registered dietitians and personal trainers we find that we get a lot of questions about tips for getting a flat belly when people are heading off for vacation. We completely get it –and relate to not wanting to look bloated when arriving at your destination–whether you’re stepping into a bathing suit, a dress, or any outfit, you want to look and feel your best! So if anything related to your tummy causes you angst before your vacay, believe us, you’re not alone–and we can help!
We think you’ll appreciate our client “Suzi’s” struggle:
Suzi came through our door right before spring break, panicking and telling us, “I bloat on the plane—my entire body swells up– and I’m so constipated when I arrive at my destination that I look six months pregnant! And it puts so much pressure on me because I’m heading off to my vacation when I’ve only partially met my weight loss goals and I know that on top of it all I’ll be fighting this extra bloat! I’m petrified to arrive feeling so lousy and out of shape and like all the hard work I did to prepare for this trip was in vain. What can I do to look and feel better? Help!”
Oh, hang in there Suzy! We can help!
Can you relate to Suzi? We certainly can! Years ago, before getting our nutrition education and before working with so many great clients, we ended up looking and feeling like a mess when we arrived at our beach destination vacation in Florida! What a disaster! For what to do before you go, check out Part 1
Once you arrive at your destination, Do This:
4. Do some form of cardio for at least 15 minutes while sipping on lemon water.
Exercise and water both get your intestinal tract going to get things moving out of your colon—and they will work in tandem with those on-the-plane veggies to prevent constipation and the gut bulges that come with it! The water and lemon help to restore normal hydration status, as the potassium in the lemon flushes bloat and the water also flushes bloat from sodium as well as the excess water that the sodium holds on to. You’ll get rid of the little layer of “puff” right beneath your skin as you sweat out a little salt.
5 . Unpack your bags as soon as you can so you can clear your mind and prepare to have fun and relax on your trip (and burn a few extra calories while you’re at it). Do 50 jumping jacks and wall squats to keep your mind and body on the healthy track.
6. Sip on green tea. It contains the amino acid theanine which brings on a mental calmness, yet alertness which will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy your vacation. You’ll feel healthy and good about yourself. Plus, green tea will flood your body with antioxidants and mop up some of the free radicals circulating in your body, which can be especially helpful if you had a lot of stress before you left for your vacay or if you were breathing too much jet fuel on the runway. (Simply pack a tea bag in your luggage and get a cup of hot water at the hotel, voila!)
7. Pack THIS (below suggestion) so you can skip the bloating, constipating carbs at dinner: All that extra bread (& butta’ too) and all those refined carbs that you may be tempted to go for while dining out on vacations are constipating–and they typically contribute to excess calorie intake that can lead to weight gain and make you feel heavy. Plus, the carbohydrates also result in extra water in the body since carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as energy (a.k.a. glycogen). This typically isn’t a bad thing!–but for each pound of glycogen, you store three pounds of water—so you may notice that you feel water-logged. But on top of that you’ll be constipated and bloated! Simply add more veggies to your meals, cut back on bread portions, etc., and pack something like Fiber d’lish Bars in your bags when you travel (we do this & so do our clients)–this way we pass on the carbs at the meal, and come back to eat this quality carb (whole-grain) bar that’s got 13 grams of fiber to flush waste from your colon. This way we get our sweet carbs and our waistline too! 😉 (Any whole grain, fiber packed bar with at least 8 grams of fiber and 100-150 calories will do the trick and stave off all the carbs and excess restaurant calories.)
During the rest of your trip, Do This:
8. Eat a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. It will set you on the healthy-track for the entire day, and you’ll immediately feel great both mentally and physically. The fiber will help you to feel satisfied by filling up your stomach and assisting your digestive tract in making sure everything keeps moving along to prevent constipation and bloat while the protein will keep you satiated. Stay away from super heavy breakfasts that will weigh you down and make you feel heavy. Try a Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of chia seeds or a hard-boiled egg with a small portion of oatmeal with a few slivered almonds and berries. This satisfying weight loss breakfast is pretty easy to order anywhere, just ask that they don’t use oil or butter in the pan. Ask them to spritz it with oil if they must.
9. Wake up and immediately drink 16 ounces (or more of water) and avoid surprising bloaters.
See step 1 for why this works! Also avoid surprising bloat promoters like chewing gum and sipping through a straw that can cause belly bloat by drawing excess air into your stomach. Carbonated beverages also leave your stomach full of gas.
10. And follow these tips as much as possible–including trying this drink if you can–at least when you get back!