Sports Fitness Solutions Newsletter

Issue #029


Summer has finally arrived and it's time to start planning your next get away or vacation. Is it going to be a a cruise, an African safari or a fun trip to the beach? No matter what you choose the warm summer days are the best time to get away from it all. However did you know that the average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation? It's really not hard to do. Consider the missed workouts, extra large restaurant meals, indulgent snacks, and those lazy vacation days will quickly add inches to your waistline.

So before you pack your bags for your next adventure, consider the following Vacation Fitness Tips that are sure to bring you home fitter, not fatter.

Make a Decision Not to Gain Weight on Your Vacation

Before you leave home, make the decision that you will NOT gain weight while on your trip.

This is the easiest and most over looked step to take to insure you don't gain those unwanted pounds while you're having fun. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and eating every good thing you see; visualize what it would be like to return from your vacation fitter than when you left. Remember what accomplishing your goal feels like, this will keep you motivated throughout your trip and will help over come those inevitable tempting eating situations that you're sure to face on your trip.

Get Moving

It's easy to spend vacation days by the pool or on the beach, but the inactivity will quickly add up to extra pounds. Choose to be active and you'll burn calories all day long while indulging in fewer unnecessary snacks. The following ideas will get you moving:

  • Take a brisk walk each day of your trip. You'll see new sights while burning off excess calories.
  • Always take the stairs rather than the elevator. It's a great way to burn calories easily each day.
  • Go on a jog in the mornings before your daily activities, or jog in the evening; or do both.
  • If you have access to a pool, swim a few laps each day. Swimming is not only fun it's a great way to get in a full body workout.
  • If your trip takes you to a place of natural beauty then go on a hike. Even while hiking at a slow or moderate pace you'll burn plenty of calories.
  • Play some sports,beach volleyball, a game of hoops, Frisbee, or bike riding are all great ways to have fun while keeping fit.

Portion Control

It's hard not to eat out while on vacation. Whether you're enjoying 5 star restaurants or fast food, you'll be met with one common problem problem, large portions. It's tempting to simply eat it all; but please don't. Use the following ideas to keep your portions under control:

  • When you order your meal ask for a "to-go" box. Take half of your meal and place it into the box before you even begin to eat. This will force you to eat a healthy portion.
  • If you would rather not carry around a "to-go" box, ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime don't be afraid to ask for the lunch-sized portion.
  • Pay more, and eat less. Take quality of food over quantity.
  • Eat meals. Cut out snacking, stick with structured meals; and reduce or eliminate the appetizers.
  • Eat slowly, and eat foods that have been prepared slowly, that means no fast food.
Eat Natural Sweets

Avoid Excess Sugar

One of your biggest enemies when it comes to vacation weight gain is sugar. Today the average person consumes 46 teaspoons of sugar each day. However the average person on vacation consumes more than that. So you can see how the calories can add up fast.

Even though sugary calories taste great, the sweet pleasure comes with consequences. Here's a list of a few of them:

  • Sugar creates false hunger (as a result of the insulin rush and then ensuing plummet in blood sugar levels), which causes you overeat.
  • Sugar promotes aging (due to the advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, that occur when insulin levels are consistently elevated as a result of eating too much sugar). Sugar has even been dubbed the negative fountain of youth!
  • Sugar weakens your bones -making you vulnerable for osteoporosis, and weakens your teeth - making you vulnerable for cavities (both due to the calcium being pulled from your bones and teeth in order for your body to process sugar).
  • Sugar in excess is stored as fat (after your liver has no more room to store it, sugar is converted to fat and deposited on your belly, thighs, hips and the backs of your arms).

So instead of eating that ice cream cone or chocolate éclair, satisfy your sweet tooth with a nice piece of juicy fruit.

Don't Eat Fried Foods

While fast food restaurants are definitely convenient, offering low prices and quick service, it's really not worth the additional pounds brought on by chicken, fish, and fries. Just don't eat fried foods. While this is always a good plan to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.

A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry, so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your caloric intake.

Take an average potato, bake it and you have 110 calories and 0 grams of fat. Take that same potato, turn it into French fries and you have 380 calories and 18 grams of fat. Which is the best choice?

Frying food is the easiest way to dramatically increase your calorie and fat content; and you know that extra calories and fat end up as extra body fat.

Other disasters that fried foods increase your risk for include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Clogged Arteries
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Acne

I know I know, fat tastes good; but if I still haven't convinced you to pass on those fries, keep in mind that heartburn and indigestion are not fun especially while on vacation. Enough said.

Hotel Room Workout

If your hotel doesn't have a gym, or if you'd simply prefer the privacy of your room, try this hotel room workout:

  • Body Weight Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower down into a squat position. Make sure that your knees do not go past 90 degrees. Exhale as you straighten your legs and return to the starting position. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • Body Weight Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Exhale as you lunge forward with your right leg. Make sure that your knee does not go past 90 degrees. Inhale as you return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • Push Ups: Get into the push up position (depending on your fitness level choose to go off your knees, push off of the wall, or assume the traditional position). Inhale as you lower your chest down. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Complete 12-15 repetitions.
  • Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.
  • V-Ups: Sit on the edge of a chair or bed and lean back. Exhale as you drive your knees in toward your chest, squeezing your abdominal muscles. Inhale as you lower your knees back down with control. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
  • Jumping Jacks, High knees, or jog in place for 30 seconds.

Well there it is, some ideas to help you avoid those unwanted vacation pounds. If you follow these idea you may be surprised and even end up losing a pound or two while you're away.

Healthy Snacks

While I'm on vacation I find that I snack alot, especially while I'm traveling. Travel days create the perfect opportunity for snacking. A mocha and scone before your flight, a salty snack on the plane; and then before you know it it's lunch time. This summer avoid unhealthy snacking by packing your own great tasting goodies. Here are few to consider:

  • Dried or fresh fruit
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Health bars
  • Cut veggies
  • Low fat crackers or pretzels

Also remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It's easy to become dehydrated while traveling, so always carry a water bottle with you.

Until next time, remember “Stay Fit You’ll Feel Better.”



Tender Homemade Baked Beans

I like Baked Beans. Beans are filled with healthy protein and fiber. I enjoy this homemade recipe that's quick,easy to make and tastes great. Serve it hot from the oven, or enjoy it chilled,either way it's great.

Servings: 12


1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 yellow onions, chopped

1 (6oz) can tomato paste

1/4 cup tamari (low sodium soy sauce)

4 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon mustard

3 (15oz) cans pinto or white beans, drained and rinsed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions until tender.

In a large bowl, mix the tomato paste, tamari, maple syrup and mustard until a thick sauce forms. Add the beans and onions and mix until fully incorporated.

Spread the beans into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Nutritional: One serving equals: 134 calories, .5g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 8g protein.