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When I start to get overwhelmed with life’s everyday conundrums and I need a break, I prefer to escape to an island in the Caribbean or south of the border to Mexico. I’m a firm believer that EVERYONE needs a vacation to recharge their batteries. Here’s the kicker though: You’ve never really been on vacation until you’ve been to an all-inclusive resort. I mean, what can be better than going on vacation and having the entire vacation already paid for? Um, let me think? Oh yeah, and you also don’t have to prepare meals three times a day. While it is incredibly relaxing not having to worry about what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, it can also make it challenging to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ways I have learned to avoid gaining weight while on vacation.


1. Start every day with a workout. With 16 waking hours in each day, devoting 1-2 hours of my time to working out still leaves me with plenty of time to relax, explore, read a good book or get pampered at the spa.

>> Read more: 6 Ways to Stay Active on Vacation

2. Eat a protein-packed breakfast with lots of veggies and a side of fruit. Egg white omelets are my favorite go-to breakfast while on vacation. I like to load up on tomatoes, spinach, onions, peppers and top it with avocado and pico de gallo. The protein and healthy fats help to keep me full until lunch.

3. Explore. I love to discover new destinations by going for a hike, renting bikes for an afternoon or just exploring on foot, whether running or walking. I also love to try new things, so joining in on activities offered at the resort is a great way to add a little more activity to my days: pool volleyball, yoga, water aerobics, anything to get me moving after I’ve been lounging for an extended period.

pool workout

4. Avoid large plates and fried food. All-inclusive resorts are known for buffets, so I stick to a small salad-sized plate and fill it with greens first and then top it with lean protein, such as grilled chicken or fish. Be wary of calorie-laden dressings though. I love a good pico de gallo to top off my salad. If after I’ve finished my salad and I still find myself hungry, I usually grab another plate and fill it with fruit. I love the saying, “If you’re not hungry for an apple, you’re really NOT that hungry.”

>> Read more: 10 Tips to Eat Healthier at Restaurants

5. Have a stash of healthy snacks. Whether I’m laying on the beach or am off on new adventures, I always try to have satisfying snacks on hand for an afternoon pick-me-up. A few of my favorites include a handful of almonds, Quest protein bars, Krave beef jerky or an apple that I’ve snatched up from the front desk or spa.

6. Choose a time frame of the day when you will allow yourself to drink. Yes, I’m on vacation and I’ve more than likely already worked out, but that doesn’t give me a free pass to eat and drink as much as I wish. I’ve learned that limiting my alcohol consumption to one portion of the day, whether it’s lunch, the afternoon, dinner or late evening, will help to keep me in check both with liquid calories and food. It is really easy to over-indulge when our inhibitions are a little skewed.