Dr. Marcus Lee

There are two times when I see patients sheepishly admit to gluttonous indiscretions. First, is over the Fall/Winter months when an abundance of holiday food allows the average citizen free license to bust a gut and gain at least a pound or two every week. Another is vacation, where, in an amazing example of gustatory prowess, the average patient will gain at least 5 pounds!

What to do? You know vacation is about eating, right? Really? How do you feel when you overeat? If you are like me, you feel miserable. Why would you want to feel miserable on vacation?

Here are some common-sense ways to feel good and not gain weight on vacation. First, get some good snack alternatives. I like to mix chopped sweet potatoes (raw) with chopped Granny Smith apples. Another is celery. There is something about that crunch!

Second -- fast a meal. If you are going to be eating a lot at another meal, then skip the one before. If you overeat at a meal, then skip the one after. Third, eat lean and green. This is helpful for eating while traveling and at your destination, too.

Finally, you can mix and match. During the meal, you can decide to skip the bread in favor of the entree. Skip the appetizer and eat the dessert you were looking forward to.

I know what you are thinking -- “Doc why didn’t you mention exercise?” While exercise is great, you need to look at it from the calorie perspective. Exercising 30 minutes is equivalent to skipping 2 buttered rolls. You can get more bang for your pain if you skip the exercise and focus on the eats. Plus, most of us are much more active on vacation anyway. We really need to worry when we get back home and our couch calls for its lost potatoes!