From the gluttonous drink specials to the gut-busting buffets, Las Vegas offers several ways to throw your carefully crafted diet out the window and add a notch or two to your belt. Yet, it’s not difficult to keep from paying for that second seat on the return flight. With a little discipline (alright, a lot of discipline) and some careful planning, you can stay fit on the Strip!
Let’s get the elephant out of the room early (not a fat pun, I promise) and address the legendary buffets you find at nearly every casino.
Most all-you-can-eat experiences will only cost you the price of a mediocre meal and offer endless opportunities to gorge yourself on the best tasting/worst-for-you food of all time. Follow these rules and you’ll survive with your pants intact:
- Don’t even pick up a plate before walking the entire selection. You’re less likely to fill yourself on the stuff that doesn’t matter (damn you, bread!) which forces you to cram in the stuff you really want where it won’t fit. That’s over-eating 101.
- Don’t skip the salad. Sure, straight crab and prime rib will get your money’s worth, but your body will be screaming for nutrients. When all it’s been living on for the last day is booze and fast food, it will thank you for a celery stick or tomato.
- Know when to stop. It’s the toughest part, but stop when you’re full. There’s no reason to keep going, ruining everything you’ve worked hard for so that you can stall your vacation by stopping every 20 minutes due to indigestion.
With a simple search on the ‘ol Google machine (or a quick phone call to any of the properties you’re interested in staying at if you like going old school) will let you know if there is a gym or rec center available. Chances are there will be something available (whether it’s “state of the art” or not is based on the quality of property) especially if it requires one of those beloved resort fees that help fund a couple treadmills and a Bowflex. Whether you’re willing to take an hour of your precious Vegas time to stay healthy is up to you, of course.
Walking the Strip is the best of both health-conscious and touristy worlds. See the incredible sights, hear the intoxicating sounds and smell the interesting smells first hand by walking from one amazing casino to the next while saving the cab fare and burning those buffet calories. On that note, take the stairs! You’d be amazed how many calories are burned by climbing a simple set of stairs every time you come across an elevation change. Bonus: You won’t get stuck with the group who don’t understand standing on the right, climbing on the left. Of course, in the middle of summer the incredible “surface of the sun” like heat can be a health risk. Bring plenty of water, take plenty of breaks and double down on the deodorant.
Finally, avoid the frozen drinks. There are more sugar and calories in those than the entire Wonka factory, and you’ll feel it after downing about half a yard. If you survive the brain freeze and hangover, it will be the sugar coma that will keep you glued to your hotel bathroom for an hour or two. If you’re classy, stick to wine, but if you’re a drinker stick to your favorite liquor on the rocks. I mean, Sinatra primarily drank whiskey and water, and he seemed like a pretty healthy guy, right?
[Image Credit: Aria Fitness Center, MGM Fitness Center, Treasure Island Buffet, Fat Tuesday]