Going on vacation doesn’t mean your health goal must unravel. You can do a few simple things that will help you stay on track as well as make you feel like you’ve had the vacation you deserve. Try these:
- Have a plan. Leaving it to chance or making last-minute decisions will end up in health goal disaster. Decide in advance how many free or cheat meals you will have. Are you staying at a hotel, with friends or renting a house? Are you bringing your own food? Will you have a way to cook? Is there a gym nearby to get a couple of workouts in? Making some of these decisions in advance will help keep you from getting derailed. I food prep all my meals to take with me for my vacations. Then I choose one or two meals to splurge on when I go out with friends or family.
- Do some pre- and post-prepping. When going on vacation or preparing for an extra indulgence, do some extra cardio before and make sure to get all your workouts in. Be sure to plan a little extra after you get back as well to help mitigate eating some extra goodies.
- Choose in advance when to splurge. Instead of allowing yourself to be pressured into eating out every meal or choosing what sounds good, decide in advance when to go more extravagant and when to stick to your meal plan.
- Do some research. It’s definitely possible to make good choices if you preplan menus, know the nutrition for restaurants you will be eating at and know exactly how much the day rate (and business hours) at the closest gym is. When staying in a hotel, I also check to see that my room has a refrigerator and a microwave so that I can stay on my meal plan no matter where I go.
EXTRA TIP: While you can’t take liquids on a plane, when traveling domestically you CAN take food. I take an insulated bag with my prepped food and a hard, frozen ice pack to keep everything fresh.
- Always have a Plan B. When I travel, I bring extra food and supplies. I’ve had delayed flights, an inability to get to a grocery store or a complete change of schedule. I bring extra protein powder, foil tuna packets and protein bars (it’s the only time I eat them) just in case my schedule or original plan get messed up.
- Don’t stress if things don’t work out. As a perfectionist, I tend to freak out when things don’t go according to plan. But life happens and sometimes we just have to go with it. If you eat more than planned, don’t get your workouts in or bend to the peer pressure of friends to go to that buffet you didn’t intend to go to, it’s all right. There will always be tomorrow, and the point of a vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself.
A vacation is NOT an excuse to go hog wild (unless you have planned for it to be just that). With a little focus and planning you can relax, enjoy your trip and still stay on track with your desired goal.