Blog: Not Gaining Weight on Vacation

Burt Ross

I have got to stop reading the New York Times. It’s as simple as that. I recently read an article in that so-called prestigious newspaper entitled “How NOT to Gain Weight on Vacation.” I had just gotten back from 8 days in Italy, where I gained — well, let’s put it this way — if I spend the rest of my life in the gym, I might conceivably lose what I gained on the trip.

The article extensively quotes Harley Pasternak, an exercise physiologist, nutritionist and personal trainer located, of course, in Los Angeles. “Gaining weight on vacation is common, but it’s possible to go away, enjoy yourself and not come home heavier,” declares our local expert.

Forgive me, Mr. Pasternak, but that is impossible. If you really said that, you should be ashamed of yourself. Oh yes, I could certainly go on vacation to Mongolia or to Siberia and not gain weight, but there is no way I could go to Italy, not gain weight, and enjoy myself.

According to the article, Mr. Pasternak recommends that the traveler wear a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or a pedometer. I don’t know what a pedometer is and don’t want to know. Mr. Pasternak suggests that the vacationer simply take around 12,000 steps a day, or around six miles. Now I have an idea. While Mr. Pasternak takes his 12,000 steps a day, I will eat some pasta for lunch and then again for dinner. I will gorge on Italian bread and pizza, and then top it all off with some delicious Italian pastry. Now, that’s what I call a vacation.

If I wanted to walk six miles a day, I might as well stay in Malibu and give up all ideas of going anywhere. I can schlep right down to Zuma Beach and start walking. There is a time and place for everything. Italy is a place to gain weight. Not to gain weight there would be an insult to the Italian people, and far be it for me to slight my Italian friends.

For eight days I devoured everything in sight like one of those biblical locusts, which left nothing in its wake. I didn’t meet a single carb that I did not instantly befriend.

So, if you really want to enjoy your vacation, do what I do — lose five or six pounds before you go, and then eat everything in sight!