Spring Break is practically synonymous with excess. You drink too much, eat the wrong foods, party all night and get little to no sleep. None of which is helpful in trying to keep weight off — let alone lose a few pounds.
“It’s easy to slip into that carefree, vacation mentality of eating and drinking what everyone else is,” says Dana M., a 28-year-old New York-based WW Member. And you can do that, she says — up to a point. “Two days of splurging might be no big deal, but a week or two can definitely do some damage.”
The key to staying in control during a week-long vacation that’s bound to be out of control? “Remind yourself of the progress you’ve made up to this point,” she says. In fact, the more you think about how far you’ve come, the less likely you’ll be to slip up on spring break.
Your best tips
We asked WW fans on Facebook for their spring break strategies. Here they are:
I like to pre-package my snacks and write the value on them. If we’re in the car and I need a snack, it's ready for me! Also, I try to drink more water than usual if sitting for a long period of time. —Candace K.
I bring my running gear, plus stay at a hotel with a gym in case the weather's bad. —Robin L.
I set an activity goal for myself before I indulge. When we went to Disney I had to hit 20,000 steps on my pedometer before I had a funnel cake. —Tammy G.
Make maintaining your goal! —Margarita M.
I try to visit a meeting wherever I am. It helps me stay honest and avoid the "I'll be good when I get back" trap. —Stacey K.
During layovers I walk laps around the terminal. —Deborah U.
Before you go
Planning is essential — so start strategizing now. Some basic pointers: Eat healthier on the days leading up to the trip, in order to save up for your vacation. Bring your own healthy snacks on the plane or in the car with you, and stash a supply in your bag to last you through the trip.
And don’t wait to think about alcohol. “Decide before you go how many days you’re going to drink, or at what time of day,” says Elizabeth S., a 25-year-old WW Coach from New York. For example, make it a goal to only drink three days out of the week, or only at night, rather than all day long. “You have to schedule it out beforehand, because once you’re in vacation mode, rational thought goes out the window.”
RELATED: Your healthy happy hour guide
During the trip
Start your day right – so that no matter what else you eat or drink today, you’ve had a healthy morning meal. “Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to control because most hotels offer a buffet that includes oatmeal, cereal, yogurt and fruit,” says Dana M. Use your WW app to estimate portions and make smart choices during meals.
If you slept right through breakfast, don’t write the day off. Bypass the poolside lounge chairs and get moving — preferably outdoors, instead of locked away in some dreary hotel gym. “Get out and explore your surroundings: jet ski, swim, surf, walk on the beach, and just take advantage of the activities your destination has to offer,” suggests Smith. Beach volleyball, hiking, biking, and canoeing are also great ways to work in activity while spending time with friends.
,And as long as you’re logging all this nonstop time with your closest friends, make sure you designate one your weight-loss buddy. Ask her (or him) to back you up when an unhealthy restaurant choice is suggested, or when someone orders yet another round of kamikaze shots.