Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Vacation is supposed to be a time to relax, get away from our daily stressors, and enjoy ourselves. When it comes to vacationing and working to lose weight it can be hard to do both. You want to have fun and eat (and drink) all of the things that you love. Even if it means ignoring your fitness plan. And forgot about working out because you want to relax, right!? Indulge now and worry about the consequences afterwards.
Or, you choose to continue your routine while on vacation and don’t quite have the time of your life. You may end up miserable, quit your plan altogether, and eat horribly. Then get back home to weight gain.
This happens because we forget balance. We should always strive for balance, but it’s especially important for us to remember this while vacationing.
Continued success/progress is the ultimate goal. So, using your vacation time as your goal target date may have you going back home having gained weight, as well. Meaning, your goal is to have lost 30lbs by the time it’s time for you to go on vacation. You’ve reached your goal and when you get there you celebrate! You celebrate the entire time and get back into old habits. Then, all of the work you’ve done goes out the window.
Aside from getting rid of vacation time goal target dates, there are other things you can do for continued success with weight loss while on vacation.
Pack Your Snacks
Fruits, nuts, and seeds are all filling snacks that don't contain added sugar or unhealthy fats. If you’re going on a road trip, fill a cooler with ice and pack plenty of fruit! Add snack cheeses and bottles of water too. Trail mix is also a good option. If you’re flying, carry your own water bottle (make sure it’s empty when going through security) and a bag or two of trail mix or something of the like. Don’t go for dried fruits. They have more calories than fresh fruit.
You want to have your snacks readily available so that you won’t be forced to choose what to snack on when you stop at a gas station or walk through the airport.
Avoid snacks loaded with carbs, like potato chips and snack cakes. These snacks aren’t filling and will have you hungry again before your next meal.
Remember Your Goals
Be mindful of what you eat. You want to enjoy your time away, but you don’t want to go backwards. Remember, always think continued success!
Consider using an energy in/energy out technique. Eat based on the energy you plan to use throughout the day. Pay attention to your calorie intake and portion sizes. Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. Skip the desserts. If you eat unhealthy carbohydrates pair them with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Eating these foods in conjunction with unhealthy carbs will slow down the release of insulin (read Eating 101 for a refresher on insulin). Add peanut butter and sliced bananas (or sliced avocados) to toast. Want nachos? Load black beans, grilled chicken, and avocados on to it. Have a salad with your meal and add nuts, oranges, blueberries, avocados, or beans to it.
Say no to mixed drinks. That is, unless it’s mixed with seltzer, fresh fruit, or diet soda. Mixed fruity drinks tend to have added sugar. Avoid them altogether. Need tips on drinking liquor while working to lose weight? I have a post for that, here. If you practice Intermittent Fasting (IF) instead of doing it daily why not skip breakfast every other day. You may get to sleep in during those hours. However, this may not be easy if you’re vacationing with family or friends. If you aren’t able to fast, don’t force it. Use the other methods mentioned above.
If you practice Intermittent Fasting (IF) instead of doing it daily why not skip breakfast every other day. You may get to sleep in during those hours. However, this may not be easy if you’re vacationing with family or friends. If you aren’t able to fast, don’t force it. Use the other methods mentioned above. If you don’t fast intermittently, consider trying it by skipping breakfast a few days while away. Don’t know much about IF? Read up on it here and here. If you’re mindful about your first meal you’ll more than likely be mindful the rest of the day.
Avoid buffets. There are way too many options to choose from. Customize your dishes when you can.
Drink Plenty of Water
Stay hydrated. Ever have swelling in your ankles while traveling? Traveling where the weather is hotter than what you’re used to will cause your body to retain water to maintain balance. Drink more water. Also, if you’ve been eating healthy by cutting your carb and sodium intake before you go on vacation (perhaps to lose a few pounds quickly), only to go on vacation and eat whatever, you will retain water.
Water also controls hunger. Drinking water takes up space in the stomach signaling to the brain to reduce hunger. Should you feel like you’re hungry, try drinking water first.
You don’t have to continue your same workout regimen while you’re on vacation, but you should be active. Get out and walk around the city to see the sites. Burn off some of the energy from the foods you’ve been eating.
Walk the beach. Go dancing! Get in the pool and swim. Swimming is a total body workout. Have bad knees or ankles? Try pool workouts! The waters’ buoyancy reduces the weight bearing load your on joints.
Plan fun activities into your itinerary to get you moving. Paddle boarding, indoor rock climbing, and walking tours are a few suggestions.
If you’re traveling by plane walk to your gate instead of taking the tram or using the moving sidewalks.
It’s Vacation, Relax a Little!
Stress causes weight gain. Avoid it, especially on vacation! Don’t stress too much over following your fitness plan. If you have every intention of sticking to your plan while on vacation don’t beat yourself up if you don’t.
Just know that when you return home it’s time to get back to work at it!