I’ve never experienced it, but I have heard the stories. All inclusive Passover vacations are a great way to have all the fun without all the stress of Passover. Sitting by the sun and enjoying yourself, while someone else does all the cooking and cleaning. Sounds like a dream come true! But if you take “all you can eat” to an extreme, you might come home with more than a sunburn. And a sunburn fades a lot quicker than those extra 10 pounds.
You can still enjoy your resort vacation while maintaining a healthy diet, and it’s not as hard as you think. Here are my tips on resisting the temptation to overeat when you are spending so much money to eat everything you want.
The first step is to prepare yourself mentally. Remember all the reasons you are going away on vacation – other than the unlimited food. You are spending money to get away, to be on a beach or resort, to relax in a spa or pool, to celebrate with family and friends and to avoid having to cook or clean. Those are all calorie free benefits of your Passover vacation.
Second, remember that you have 8 days. It is not just a one day splurge, it’s an entire week. It is day after day, hour after hour of easily available food. Say to yourself:“this is not my last meal, it is probably not even my last meal of the day. So take it easy.”
Okay, so now that we have worked on your mental state, let’s talk strategy.
1. Stick to meal times and minimize trips to the tea room. If all your friends or family are headed there, focus on the tea. If you have a major sweet tooth, pick one day or two to indulge and taste all the goodies and then go easy the rest of the week.
2. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Don’t order or take more food than you can or should eat. I love to taste lots of things, that is why I love small plates, but assuming they don’t do small plates, stick to one nice dish, there will always be another tomorrow.
3. Start with salad. The old diet trick stands the test of time. Fill up with a nice salad with a little olive oil and vinegar and as many vegetables as you can. All the checking and chopping has been done, this is the best time to indulge.
4. When dessert time comes, choose something small or share half with a friend. It’s almost like a low-calorie dessert when you’re ony having half the calories.
5. Avoid fried foods as much as possible.
6. Drink water, seltzer and unsweetened tea or coffee instead of soda or juice.
7. Last, but not least, exercise. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, you are on vacation. Get up and move. Find a sport you love, but never have time to play. Take leisurely walks or jogs on the beach or anywhere. Go swimming or just play. There is plenty of time to read, sleep and rest, but you will feel so much better if you burn calories, like you burn your chametz.
Are you headed to a resort this year?