Let’s face it: When you go on a trip, your diet-and-exercise routine usually takes its own vacation.
But who wants to come home 10 pounds heavier?
I sure don’t, and registered dietician Ilyse Schapiro agrees with me. From her office in Harrison (she also has one in Greenwich) Schapiro says, “Nutrition is my passion and it’s second-nature to me — and it can be second-nature for you, too.”
Add Covid into the travel package, and there’s a lot to think about regarding your next trip. (See sidebar).
If you’re simply taking a road trip this month, Schapiro suggests bringing smart snacks such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. “Bring a cooler filled with turkey sandwiches, salad, dried-and-roasted edamame, string cheese and mini packages of almond butter and fruit,” she adds. Just stash it in your car and try it
She is also a big fan of healthy nutrition bars, such as the 100-calorie chia bars made by Health Warrior. “I love their brand,” she says, also recommending that travelers always bring a protein bar instead of nibbling on junk food such as pretzels and gummy bears.
At your destination, “Don’t look at your vacation as being a free-for-all,” she advises. “You can have muffins and pancakes for breakfast — but just not every single day. Be mindful of alcohol consumption and have a mental game plan. Otherwise, you’ll gain five to 10 pounds on vacation,” she says.
So what about exercise? Schapiro recommends several things. First, walk at your destination. Second, book your stays at hotels with gyms. Third, look for workout classes on the beach if you’re going to a sunny destination. Four, shop for fruit and yogurt at a local supermarket. “This way you’re not eating guacamole and chips in the late afternoon.”
And let me add my own “Gorgeous Globetrotter” tips to this mix. I’m a huge fan of jumping rope, as it’s a great cardio exercise that requires no special equipment. Take it from me — jumping rope for about 30-40 minutes can burn about 300 calories, gives you extra stamina — and gives you killer legs as a result I’m up to about 40 minutes, taking only a few 10-second breaks along the way. Another great thing about jumping rope: You can usually do it right in the safety of your hotel room without having to wear a mask at the gym. But if there’s not enough space in your guest room, I recommend “going through the motions” without actually twisting a rope. It works.
Yoga is another great in-room workout that requires nothing more than a clean towel placed on the carpeting. Or use other elements of the room for exercise, like a chair for balance as you do leg lifts or a wall for standing push-ups. You can also stream an exercise program on TV or the computer.
Are you trying to lose weight on vacation? Remember: You are on vacation. “Do everything in moderation,” Schapiro advises. “Don’t be too restrictive in your diet.”
For more, visit ilyseschapiro.com. And visit Debbi on Instagram @DebbiKickham.
The new safety for the actual road
When you do take your road trip, follow these tips from the Mayo Clinic that bear repeating:
Make as few stops as possible, but stop driving if you become drowsy or just need a break.
Pack face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in an easily accessible spot so that you can use them during the trip as necessary.
When you need to get gas, use a disinfectant wipe on handles or buttons before you touch them. After fueling, use hand sanitizer. And when you get to your destination, use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Opt for restaurants that offer drive-through or curbside service.