Lose weight while traveling (and still indulge)


Nagina Abdullah


December 11, 2018

How to lose weight on vacation - relax

When I traveled this summer, I didn’t want to feel trapped in my body, feeling full and bloated. I wanted to feel energy, and I wanted to feel free! I tested out several strategies that would help me stay at the same weight after travel, and even found out how to lose weight on vacation!

When I travel, I feel like I don’t want to worry about what I eat. I’m on vacation! Who wants to control themselves during vacation?

Plus, there’s all kinds of new, interesting foods that I literally will only get one chance to eat.

So, for these and other reasons, in the past I would give myself permission to indulge more than usual while on vacation. But when I would get back, it would feel like I had a mountain to climb, because I would put on 3-5 pounds almost every time.

Even though I was NOT perfect, I came back from my summer trip this year WITHOUT my typical 3-5 pounds weight-gain. Instead, I had gained zero pounds – something I had NEVER before done. On my next trip I tried a few more things and LOST weight on vacation!

Today, I want to share with you five of the strategies I followed so I didn’t gain any weight during my travel, and came back to the same place as where I started – or even better lost weight! Here’s how to lose weight on vacation.

Here’s my advice for food to bring and snacks to choose on the plane, so you can lose weight while flying!

Make it a weight loss vacation!

Tip #1 Skinny Eating Out While Indulging Hack

Appetizer Hack: If you’re craving something unhealthy, like a heavy local delicacy, order it for an appetizer or on the side, since it’s a smaller portion. Then, for your meal, keep it healthy and lean.

Eating clean delicious meals and snacks like grilled fish and veggies (local if you’re on a beach vacation) will keep you on track. Pick up low sugar fruits and nuts from local markets when you’re out and about.

You’ll find that you’re not as tempted by processed foods since there are so many great options for real local food instead of junk food and packaged snacks. (1,2,3)

Tip #2: Upgrade your travel mindset and swap FOOD for FUN

You’re on vacation to have fun, and having a light, energetic body feels amazing! Avoid looking at your meals as a source of fun – look at it as fuel for your trip. Look at the activities and people you are with as your fun – because they are!

Here are some ways to prioritize activities and you’ll learn how to lose weight on vacation without even noticing!

      • Walk to enjoy the scenery instead of driving or taking a cab. Explore!
      • Schedule physical activities like:
      • Bike rides on the beach
      • Hiking
      • Kayaking
      • Canoeing
      • Paddle boarding
    • Volleyball (1)

Here’s what to order when you’re at a beach bar so you have energy for you activities, but still feel sexy in your bathing suit.

Moving your body is important, but you CAN lose weight without exercise! Find out how in this FREE guide.

Tip #3 Relax! How to lose weight on vacation means ZERO stress

Savor the exotic foods (even dessert!) and enjoy the leisurely pace. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause women to store weight (4). Of course, eat slowly and enjoy reasonable portions rather than overloading and feeling gross. But stop feeling guilty after every bite! (1,2)

How to lose weight on vacation - relax
Put a stop to unbearable sugar cravings (even when you are stressed)

Another one of my tricks for how to lose weight on vacation is to sprinkle fat-burning spices onto foods to kick my metabolism into gear. Keep these spices in your purse!

The health benefits of cinnamon for weight loss

Eat beautiful, be beautiful: cayenne pepper benefits every part of you

4 Surprising ways turmeric benefits weight-loss (+links to recipes!)

How to lose weight while traveling? More tips!

Tip #4 Choose Low Sugar, High Flavor Cocktails

Follow my MasalaBody 4-part cocktail framework to enjoy drinks with maximum pleasure factor and minimal calories and sugar.

4-part Cocktail Framework

1. Light alcohol (vodka, gin, and tequila)
2. Club soda or seltzer
3. Splash of juice
4. Herb (ex: mint, cilantro), spice (ex: cinnamon, cayenne) or lime or lemon

Put your party heels on, because I’m going to share even more valuable information today (cheers to that!). Knowing what to order at the bar will be a HUGE part of your strategy for how to lose weight on vacation.

First, I’ll share two standard cocktails that you can order from the menu that are light and low-sugar and will prevent bloating, water retention and weight-gain. Then, I’ll share two of my own MasalaBody cocktails I created that are full of flavor and help you enjoy drinks without all the sugar (but a lot of flavor!).

How to lose weight on vacation
Here I am drinking one of my signature cocktails, Misty Mermaid. Recipe below!

If you want to order something simple at a bar or restaurant, here are 2 options:

1. Paloma – blend of tequila + grapefruit or club soda, zero-calorie sparkling water, or grapefruit juice +  lime juice + mint if you have it (my new favorite to order and it follows the framework!)

You may be surprised to know that tequila is one of the healthiest alcohols! I share 10 surprising benefits of tequila you never knew in this article I wrote for Lifehack.

2. Tito’s Vodka + club soda + a splash of pineapple and cranberry juice + a lime – this is my go-to drink because it’s available everywhere using common ingredients and it follows my 4-part Cocktail Framework.

Here are two of my favorite MasalaBody cocktails that I created for low-sugar and amazing taste. You can tell the bartender the ingredients or make them yourself.

3. Jamaican Sunrise

This is a drink I personally designed when I visited Jamaica last year for a family wedding. I stayed in an all-inclusive resort, and there were bars at every step I took. I definitely wanted to bask in the Jamaican heat and relaxation, but I didn’t want to put myself to sleep with all the sugar in typical cocktails OR add cocktail weight on if I could avoid it!

So, I asked the bartender to create this drink using this blend of ingredients, and it looked so beautiful and perfect for Jamaica that I dubbed it, “Jamaican Sunrise.” Soon, everyone in the bar was ordering this drink!

I love how the colors look like a sunrise, from a lighter yellow to a deeper red.

How to lose weight on vacation - Jamaican sunrise

Jamaican Sunrise

Instructions to tell the bartender:


Club Soda

Splash of pineapple, orange, and cranberry juice, in that order

Garnish with a pineapple slice (if available, or a lime or lemon)

4. Misty Mermaid

I also created this drink while in Jamaica, as an alternative to the “Jamaican Sunrise.” When I was drinking this, so many people would ask me what I was drinking and order the same thing!

It looks so exotic! Cheers!

How to lose weight on vacation - Misty mermaid

Misty Mermaid

Instructions to tell the bartender:


Club Soda

Splash of Blue Curacao

Top with an orange slice (if available)

Tip #5 Don’t Skip Out on Your Beauty Sleep

This is your chance to relax! So, take advantage of it and catch extra Zs in your hotel bed. Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for weight loss, and it’s key for how to lose weight on vacation.(3)

Schedule some extra time in the morning and turn your alarm off. It’s great for your whole body! Your skin looks brighter and more refreshed when you get enough sleep, too. Honey and cinnamon are also a powerful combination that help you skin look younger. Check out this post to learn about one of the lesser known benefits of honey and cinnamon, and see my cinnamon age spot reducing face mask recipe.  

Because you can’t bring your personal trainer with you on vacay, don’t forget your free cheat sheet guide for how to lose weight without exercise

Which of one the cocktail ideas sounds good to you? Reply and let me know which one(s) you will be ordering/making! Tell me any tips you have for how to lose weight on vacation.

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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