Every summer since our kids were little, we have taken a summer vacation. Some families love the familiarity of visiting the same beach or campground year after year and I can understand the appeal of that kind of tradition. But our family loves to have an adventure and explore somewhere new each summer.
This summer we chose to travel around Oregon, which turned out to be one of our favorite trips ever. We had the most fabulous time romping around Portland, Bend, Crater Lake, the Oregon Dunes, and the rocky coast.
On vacation, I loosen up and let my normal healthy diet go off the rails, at least a little bit. We make it a point to find the best ice cream shops and bakeries in towns we visit (in Portland, I wholeheartedly recommend Blue Star Donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, and Little T American Baker for baguettes), and Andrew and I indulge in a nightly beer or cocktail.
What’s more, whenever I eat out I seem to eat more than I would at home. Does that happen to you, too? Eating out every day, with the extra sodium and calories restaurant meals often have, begins to take a toll on my waistline no matter how many bike rides, walks and hikes we take on vacation and how many daily Nike Fuel points I rack up.
By the end of our family vacations, I am usually well rested, well read (I enjoyed My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, A Life of Spice by Monica Bhide, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler), happy, and relaxed. But I also come home with a few extra pounds and a desire to reset my diet, get rid of sugar cravings, and get back to my normal healthy weight before the weight gain really settles in.
The 7-Day Diet and Weight Reset
It’s not nearly as fun as family vacations, but here’s the 7-Day Diet and Weight Reset technique I have found to be quick and effective for accomplishing these goals.
The first morning after vacation I get on the scale (eek!) to see how much I need to lose to get back to my pre-vacation weight. Then I weigh myself every morning that week to see how I’m progressing. (I know some people shun the scale, but weighing myself regularly helps me avoid weight-creep.)
For the first week after vacation, here’s how I tweak my diet:
- Cut out added sugars, including artificial sweeteners, to get rid of sugar cravings—naturally occurring sugars like those in fruit are fine (This year my whole family is joining me!).
- Eliminate refined grains such as pasta and white bread.
- Abstain from drinking alcohol.
- Drink lots of water with lemon and tea to stay hydrated and help eliminate water retention.
- Increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Make sure to eat plenty of healthy fats and proteins like nuts, avocado, and eggs to moderate my appetite.
- Eat one serving of dinner and stay out of the kitchen until the next morning.
As I write this post I’m on the plane home indulging in my last glass of wine and a chocolate chip cookie. To tell you the truth, I’m feeling a little puffy and more than ready to hit the farmer’s market, grocery store, and my own kitchen this weekend and get my healthy diet back on track with a post-vacation cleanse.
Want to join me? If so, leave a comment below to let me know when you’re starting and we can all support one another.
What do you do to get your diet back on track after a period of overindulgence?