Why You Shouldn’t Stress About Your Weight While Traveling
From advertisements and magazines to television shows and everyday conversations, weight loss is always touted as the ultimate goal and cause for celebration. Unsurprisingly, any chance we might eat more than usual is antagonized to no end. When the holidays come around, for instance, we’re always warned against over-stuffing our plates with too much holiday ham. It’s the same thing when we go on vacation — being constantly told to take it easy, lest we come home ten pounds heavier. However, stressing over one’s weight is completely uncalled for as it will not only risk ruining your entire trip, but can even be counterproductive. As wellness author Nancy Bryan points out on US News, the more one worries about what or how they eat, the more weight they gain.
It’s important to remember, though, that whether it’s because of all the gelato cones from your Italian summer or too many days spent lounging along Caribbean shores, weight gain isn’t always that bad. So, if you’re looking to make the most out of your vacation, here are reasons to go for that extra plate (or two).
1.Less weight doesn’t always mean better health.
A common misconception with fitness is that weight is the only indicator for someone’s health. There are many factors to consider that could be contributing to your body mass. Reader’s Digest suggests that instead of relying on a scale, BMI, or a weight chart to determine your optimal weight, consider other factors like body fat. Perhaps it’s muscle mass that’s making you pack on pounds, or it could even be that you happened to measure yourself on a day when your body is holding a little more water weight. One thing’s for certain: the number on your scale is not the be all and end all factor.
Do your best to focus on other health indicators, like your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and even the quality of your sleep. These are much more worthy of your attention.
2. Weight can fluctuate normally.
Another misconception is that the slightest bit of weight fluctuation can only be due to fat loss or fat gain. While that is absolutely possible, weight management specialist Malia Frey lists several other reasons why your weight could be shifting uncontrollably. These include higher sodium or carbohydrate intake, hormones, or fluid loss during exercise. When you’re on vacation, you could end up having a saltier dish than you’re used to or sweat more because of tropical climates. Even everyday bodily functions like using the restroom and drinking could make you drop five pounds in a single day. But though they could cause the scale to tip further, they won’t necessarily increase your body mass.
All of these, of course, are perfectly normal and aren’t usually a cause for alarm, unless you start to feel more drastic changes like a sudden loss of energy or sickliness. Otherwise, carry on.
3. You can have cheat days.
A weekend of eating outside your normal eating routine isn’t the end of the world. Nutritionist Kaleigh McMordie states that depriving yourself is actually even worse. “Denying your body what it really wants often leads to either obsessing about the food or continuing to eat and seek out foods that won’t ever satisfy you. Either one can lead to over-eating,” she shared with NBC News.
This is why crash diets are highly unrecommended. Though they might work short-term, they are immensely unhealthy in the long run. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to stuff yourself like it’s your last day on Earth. On a previous post here on Fayyaz Travels, we suggested packing small, healthy bites for when you get hungry when you travel. This way, you don’t end up wasting your appetite on empty calories. Pretty Me’s Sheena Dizon also recommends incorporating other means like weight supplements that can help you avoid binge-eating. Unlike fad diets, these are perfectly safe, especially when combined with exercise and a balanced diet. Just remember: striking the proper balance with mindful eating can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle — wherever life takes you.