Are Your Vacation Days Making You Wider?
By Becca DiCenso
What happens on vacation stays at your waistline.
You’ve worked hard, logged the long hours, and it’s finally time for a well-deserved vacation. Bonus: You’re extra excited to shed some layers because you reached your beach body goals, too!
But those good habits often go right out the window once you’ve hit the land of tropical mixed drinks and “I’m on vacation!” desserts. According to a study done by the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, adult Americans gain an average of one pound on their one to three week-long vacations. While a single pound may not seem like much, keep in mind that one to two pounds are typically gained in a year. So, one week is a short period of time to gain that amount of weight!
The study involved 122 adults between the ages of 18 and 65, who were tracked and measured by their height, weight, BMI, blood pressure and weight-to-hip ratio. Their stats were taken one week before vacationing, one week after they’d returned, and again six weeks later. The overall weight gain over the course of the study was just shy of a pound, even after six weeks of being home. Translation: That extra vacation weight stuck.
Interestingly, research actually indicates that more physical activity takes place during vacation; so what is it exactly that’s making us gain those pounds? The answer: Alcohol...lots and lots of alcohol. The authors of the study said it’s all about the caloric intake that’s causing these scale numbers to go up. According to the study, the participants doubled their alcohol intake while on vacation.
We totally understand that everyone needs to get away sometimes and actually enjoy themselves. Just don’t forget that what happens at that vacation table stays at your waistline. You can still live it up, too; just go for the lower calorie drinks by following our guide Eat This, Not That! for Drinkers and remember to eat in moderation. If you don’t overstuff yourself for a week straight, you’ll less likely be bloated on your return flight back and it won’t be so tough getting back into a healthy routine.