Aaaaaah, summer vacation – the beach, the palm trees, the pina coladas……the extra pounds that linger for six weeks afterward.

pink flamingo in pool

I’m on vacation in Sunset Beach, NC this week and it is so wonderful to kick back and take a break from the real world.

Just like you, when I go on vacation I want to relax. I want to drink cocktails and eat dessert.

It can be so hard not to just say “screw it, I’m on vacation” and go wild.

But if you don’t want to get home to find your jeans no longer fit, you have two options:

Go on vacation, forget about your plan, then hop right back into your routine as soon as you get home. You’ll probably gain a few pounds but maybe the splurge is worth it to you.

Personally, I prefer a more moderate approach. There is a middle ground between burying yourself in pina coladas and just eating broccoli and chicken for every meal.

Here are my 4 little tricks to loosen the reins with minimal damage:

  1. Drink lots of water. Being on the go or out in the sun can dehydrate you, so you should be sipping water all day long. Plus, drinking water ensures you won’t fill up on liquid calories. If you booze it up a bit, drink two glasses of water between each alcoholic beverage.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast. Start the day off with a big veggie omelet or a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit. You’ll feel fuller longer and be less likely to binge on snacks and sweets the rest of the day. Plus, you won’t feel guilty for having a glass of wine later.
  3. Save your calories for the good stuff. Are you eating every piece of junk within eyesight just because you “can”? Save your splurges for the things you really love and pass on the minor temptations. Have a salad for lunch instead of a burger then have that decadent chocolate dessert. Make sure the calories on your plate are worth every bite.
  4. Stay active. Instead of just sitting in your beach chair all day, go for a walk, explore the area on your bike, play Frisbee, jump in the waves, find a gorgeous hike or go out dancing. Wear your tracker and try to hit your daily target. You’ll burn calories and make a ton of great memories.

tropical palm tree

If you come back from vacation and you didn’t gain weight, consider it a big win.

So chill out. Have some fun. And enjoy your time away. You deserve it!

What’s your favorite vacation splurge? Post it in the comments below.