Well if there’s one thing that I’m good at, its eating and drinking. Sometimes I think its the one real thing I’m actually really good at!  When it comes to ordering fabulous food and cocktailing, I’m your girl.  Yup. And I am not that person that automatically orders the most calorie wise option on the menu. Or says no bread basket. Why would I do that?  Yes, I have always had a love affair with the boozy lunch  that include 4 courses of fine eats.   Lets just say when I book a vacation, I sometimes do it around triple D suggestions or because I just watched Anthony Bourdain’s tv show and I absolutely must try this fried catfish only available in the Mississippi Delta. However this insane lust for food  has not always worked in my favor, especially as I get older…

Can a girl eat and drink  like a champion and still  have a six pack?? Well unless you have the  metabolism of a 15 year old, the answer is no. You cannot do both. Not without adding  a SERIOUS  cardio program to your lifestyle, which is difficult to do with a hangover.  I don’t care if your Bethany, Heidi or Jillian Harris, its just not possible. I know this personally because I have spent the last 5 years, since I turned 40, hitting everywhere from  New Orleans (where eating and drinking is pretty much gospel and lord knows, it should be!)  to the UK. The extra 15lbs I put on were definitively well earned, but they wouldn’t have been there 10 years ago. So Ive been doing things a little differently lately, I guess I learned a few tricks  and I’d like to share them with you. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat like a caveman, I’m just not looking like one ! Here are 8 ways to avoid vacation weight gain!

*If you have a reservation somewhere awesome, plan your eating for the day around that meal. If its lunch your doing, eat a really light breakfast and skip the carbs totally. Think protein shake, fruit, or yoghurt. Indulge in whatever you want for that lunch. Go to town. Really enjoy every bite and don’t eat your whole meal in 5 minutes.  Savor that  awesome dish!  Then, follow the same protocol for dinner. Keep it light and skip the carbs.

*Always always go for a walk after you eat. Do not go back to your desk and sit there all afternoon, or go lay by a pool. Get up and walk for 20 minutes. Not only does this burn some calories, but it aides in digestion after a huge pig out.

*Order items off the menu that suit the venue. If your dining at a fabulous Italian restaurant, don’t order the steak. Pretend like your in Italy and order what the chef features. You will get a better dining experience this way and expand your palette.  Salad’s at an Italian joint are going to be much better than say a French restaurant, so maybe skip the appys at some venues where it doesn’t make sense. Escargot makes sense at a French place. When in Rome!

*Always order a bottle of water to your table. Sparkling or still, doesn’t matter as long as you drink it. This helps with the booze intake an also keeps you from continually stuffing your face.

*Skip the bread basket unless its the best bread ever. I mean its not like you’ve never eaten bread before so don’t act like it is. There are some places however where this doesn’t apply like if your are in France…

*Discover a love affair with the Vodka soda. I don’t care if the vodka is flavored as long as you mix it with soda and not tonic or juice. Tonic has as many calories as coke btw, which is super scary, and it gives you a monster hangover.  If your ordering a cocktail that has simple syrup in it, like a Mohito, ask the bartender to make it without the syrup. Its  killer and does nothing for you. If you have to order your first one like this, ok I guess, but if your having multiples, (who me?) make the next ones sans sugar. Mai Tais and Pina Colada’s are only acceptable in Hawaii.

*If your on an extended vacation at an all inclusive hotspot, most definitively  take your Vidadish with you. Dont be caught at the buffet 3 times a day eating like an ogre. Eat what you want, but keep the meals portion size. You won’t come home fat and unhappy.

* Don’t even look at the menu. If you are being really strict that day don’t even be tempted by succulent words that are splashed all over the pages.  You know what you should eat, so just order it. Like steamed fish and vegetables, steak and yams, grilled chicken and vegetables.  Almost all restaurants have these items on the menu and will make them for you the way you want.

* Don’t go for lunch or dinner if your starving. Eat something before you get to the venue like a cheese stick or an apple. This way your less likely to annihilate the bread basket.

* Don’t order desert. Period. Unless its your Birthday. Then go to town. :0)