Trying to stay fit and healthy can be challenging when traveling.
The goal should be to maintain and not gain while you are away. And while I am an advocate for living life and enjoying all that is has to offer, going on vacation shouldn’t become a free for all to throw in the towel when it comes to health and fitness.
A common question I receive from many prospective clients is “I am going on vacation soon. Should I wait to start the plan or start right away?” My answer is always this: There is never a “good” or “easy” time to start. You have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle which is what my plans aim to do. In other words, start the plan today. That way, when it does come time for vacation, you have the tools you need to maintain, not gain.
While you won’t tracking every bite while you are on vacation, subconsciously you are much more aware of how your meals should look and be balanced if you are following a dietary plan prior to the vacation. I can’t tell you how many clients who have come back to not having gained an ounce. Now that is WINNING!
Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy when traveling:
Drink a lot of water – A lot of walking around, hours spent outside under the sun and traveling in itself can be exhausting. The airplane ride alone will dehydrate you from the altitude. I love to take a reusable water bottle and fill it up after I pass through security to take on the plane with me. This ensures that I am drinking throughout the flight and that I don’t have to wait for the flight attendants to serve me. And when they do come to serve, take it! Drink all the water you can. You will feel so much better getting off the plane hydrated instead of tired, queasy, tight, and drained.
When you get to your destination, continue to drink water. Incorporate foods that also contain a lot of water such as lettuce, watermelon, and cucumbers.
Stick to your normal routine as much as possible: Just because you away don’t mean you have to throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. This goes especially for all-inclusive resorts or a buffet. Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. Breakfast included in the hotel? Stick to an omelet, a piece of toast or oatmeal, some fresh fruit and one “treat.” You don’t need muffins, bacon, hash browns, pancakes AND french toast if you normally don’t eat that at home. That is just being gluttonous. Pick one savory food and enjoy it. Tomorrow is a new day and a few hours later you will be eating your next meal.
Keep things in moderation: You don’t have to have everything all in one day. Bread, alcohol, and dessert can all add up in one meal. All three along with your meal could mean your total daily allowance of calories or more. So pick one, and choose another for the following day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
If you tend to eat more at night, then keep your breakfast and lunch on the lighter side. If you know you are going to have a few cocktails for happy hour then moderate your intake during the day. It is all about balance.
Try to keep active: If you normally workout daily then try to go to the gym half a number of days you are on vacation. Vacation is just that…a break, so don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at 7 a.m. each morning to feel good about yourself. Let go of some of the stress. Go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors and do something entirely different then you are used to.
If there is no gym and you want to workout, pack resistance bands. They are super light and there are so many exercises that you can do with them (see my video on how to here). You could also incorporate some body weight exercises or plyometrics in your hotel room (see hotel room workout video here). Just 20 minutes a day will make you feel a whole lot better and most likely help you make better decisions throughout the day.
Have the willpower to stay on track: I know sometimes this is easier said than done, but I can guarantee that you will feel so much better coming home from a vacation knowing you enjoyed it. You also didn’t gain a pound or have to work it back off. We all know how easy it is to put weight on and how difficult it is to take it off. Just a few minor tweaks each day, while you are away, can mean the world of differences.
You are stronger than you think. Choose your battles while you are away. Don’t cave into defeat. You can do it! Vacation is so much more than eating everything in sight. Take the time to enjoy those you spend it with, the scenery, and the culture it has to offer. The food is just a bonus, not the entire package.
Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men, and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.