Still trying to shake your summer vacation eating habits? Follow these surefire tips to get back in control.
After a week -- or even a few months -- of carefree sunny days and lots of good food, drink, and fun, you might be disappointed by a little vacation weight gain. Pair that with imminent shorter days and cooler weather, and it can be enough to make anyone ditch their diet, grab a comforter, and hibernate until spring. Don't give up -- read these tips instead, and look forward to a fantastic fall.
- Maintain that getaway high. Your vacation feeling doesn't have to end the moment you get back to work. Make the most of the fading light by getting out and about in the mornings or after dinner. The exercise will not only burn calories, it will also keep you feeling cheerful and buoyant well after you're back in the daily grind.
- Make every meal a treat. Recreate the meals you enjoyed on vacation. Buy the best fish you can afford or the leanest cut of meat, season well and grill over charcoal for the authentic alfresco taste. Serve with a crisp salad, juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs for a low PointsPlus value meal that's quick enough to prepare on a weeknight.
- Eat hearty fare. Foods that make you feel full will stop you from overeating, even if you're suffering the back-to-work blues. Opt for filling, slow-release foods such as brown rice, bananas, potatoes and lentils -- and mix tastes, textures and temperatures to keep your palate entertained.
- Have a kitchen clear-out. Get back on track by clearing out the cupboards and fridge, and toss any tempting trigger foods without feeling guilty about having bought then in the first place.
- Think seasonal. Swap out light summer herbs like basil and cilantro for woodsy rosemary, thyme and sage, and plan meals around autumn apples and squash. Spend some time reading your favorite cookbooks, finding low PointsPlus value recipes for the months ahead. You could also cook a few meals in advance and freeze them.
- Anticipate any monthly milestones. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just a few of the upcoming seasonal events that revolve around food. We've got lots of recipes for all these occasions so there's no reason you have to miss out on all the fun.
- Plan bad-weather workouts. Exercising in cold, rainy, or snowy weather can be brutal. Keep your fitness routine going strong by investing in a new workout dvd (or check out any "on demand" workouts from your cable provider).
- Hit the hay. Vacations are notorious sleep disruptors, and tiredness is often a trigger for snacking and overeating. Return to your normal sleep routine (a full eight hours is ideal) at least a few days before your first day back at work or school.
- Embrace change. Summer may be over, but each season has its own charm. Autumn has some of the nicest walking weather, with its clear skies and glorious colors, while winter is the perfect time to be sledding, skiing and throwing snowballs with the neighbors — all great fun activities which will earn you extra activity PointsPlus values!
- Look ahead to next summer. Next year, you can avoid the post-vacation panic by eating and drinking sensibly during your time off. Eating well over summer can be easy, as you can always get access to low PointsPlus® value foods (sorbets, salads, exotic fruits etc.) and plan for any seasonal splurges (like boardwalk french fries and carnival funnel cakes). You'll also have lots of opportunities to earn activity PointsPlus values by swimming, walking and other outdoor activities.