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You can enjoy your vacation without packing on the pounds.

When you're on vacation, it's all too easy to abandon everything you know about eating healthfully -- and then return home unable to button your pants. But, experts say, it is possible to indulge in your favorite foods and beverages while on vacation without the resulting weight gain.

It's true that vacations are no time to try to lose weight -- but they don’t have to put an extra notch on your belt, either.

"Maintaining your weight is a realistic goal during your vacation getaway," says Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

So before you order that extra pina colada at the swim-up bar, consider these five simple strategies to avoid vacation weight gain:

Vacation Tip No. 1: Plan Ahead to Fit in Fitness

Vacations should be an opportunity to re-energize, refresh, and relax -- not an excuse to take a break from health. When planning your vacation, opt for locations that will allow you to engage in physical activities you enjoy. Keep in mind that physical activity is the ticket to enjoying extra calories without weight gain.

For example, Jackson-Blatner and her family look for locations where they can enter 5K races. "It’s fun, we love it, and we build our vacations around activities we can do together," she says.

If running is not your style, consider places where you can take walks or hikes, ride bikes, do water sports, or use the hotel tennis courts or gym.

Without work schedules making demands on your time, you should be able to fit in fun fitness activities every day. Walk the golf course, play basketball, swim, walk, kayak, bicycle, play tennis -- you name it, just do it for at least an hour each day.

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