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How do I avoid gaining weight on vacation?

The question: I am going on a vacation and I seem to always gain three to five pounds when I am away. Help! I want to enjoy myself, but I don't want to come home and feel gross.

The answer: Try not to fall down the all-or-nothing rabbit whole! Don't let one unhealthy choice instigate a parade of unhealthy choices. Just because you opted for fries rather than salad, don't automatically abandon your health goals altogether.

Moderation is the obvious, although often challenging, key to a fun yet healthy vacation. A huge part of being moderate is being mindful. Too often we eat because we are bored, sad or simply because the food is there.

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If you want to indulge, go for it – but don't graze aimlessly. Choose something you really want, not just what is there. I love chocolate, so if I really want a treat, I eat some good chocolate and I enjoy it! If you do treat yourself, don't feel guilty. Savour the treat and just be mindful of your decision. If you are not happy that you indulged, instead of feeling guilty you should learn from the situation and decide to make better choices at your next meal.

Be proactive. Before you go out to dinner, look at the menu online and decide what you will eat. At buffets, fill up on salads, use a small plate, don't have seconds and decide to eat one, not five, slightly decadent foods.

Buy healthy snacks for your hotel room. I usually stock up on veggies, fruit, almonds and little yogurts.

Try to stay active. Play a team sport with your friends or family, explore your vacation destination on foot or on a bike, or recharge by going to the hotel gym.

If you do gain weight, try not to let feelings of guilt cloud your positive holiday memories. Remember, your self-worth is not determined by the number on the scale. Plus, you can't go back in time and make better choices.

Remember your holiday fondly. And when you get home, be realistic: Don't aim to lose all of your vacation weight in one week!

Trainer's tip: If you know it is next to impossible for you to be conscious of your food choices on vacation, keep a vacation food journal to help you track of your eating.

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