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Enjoy Your Vacation Without Bringing Home Extra Pounds

It can be tempting to indulge on vacation and fall out of your usual nutrition and exercise routine. However, with a little advance planning and commitment, it is possible to stick to your weight control goals while you're traveling.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make healthier choices during Spring Break and beyond:

1. Snack smart. Rather than waiting to buy something on the road, pack healthy snacks. Try a low-fat yogurt, whole-grain crackers or air-popped popcorn. Load your carry-on with grab-and-go fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas, or prep a bag of chopped vegetables to munch in the car. My favorite grab-and-go are my Snack Bars that I always have with me.

2. Stay active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity. If your idea of vacation doesn't include the gym, no sweat — simply making more active choices may help. For example, swim a few laps after relaxing by the pool; opt for a walking or biking tour when sightseeing; and use stairs instead of an elevator.

3. Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast daily tend to keep hunger at bay and may avoid overeating later on in the day. If your hotel won't have healthy breakfast options, pack some healthy breakfast foods so you can stick to your regular eating routine.

4. Limit alcohol. Those festive vacation cocktails may derail your weight control goals, since they're often high in calories but low in nutrients. Limit your drinking to 1 drink a day at the most.

5. Catch some zzz's. That's right, sleeping in may be good for your health. In fact, lack of sleep may lead to weight gain. Research shows that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours a night are at higher risk of gaining weight than those with adequate sleeping habits.

6. Get support. It's important to surround yourself with people who support your healthy lifestyle. The same is true on Spring Break — so invite your friends or family members to join you for a special vacation walk, swim or bike ride.

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