Hi There! I just got back from an amazing, although quick, trip to Palm Springs, California with my husband. The weather was...exquisite. Don't you just love vacation?? Ahhh, I could talk about vacationing for days. But this blog post is to give you my tips for truly enjoying your vacations while not undoing the progress you've made with your health and fitness goals.
This is something I take VERY seriously because enjoying life (and vacations) is SUPER important to me. And so is keeping up with my fitness and nutrition. So trust me when I say I've spent A LOT of time practicing this methodology and thinking about it, too.
Tips for Enjoying Your Vacation AND the Body You've Been Working On:
1. Plan an active vacation.
Look, I LOVE sitting by the pool as much as anyone, but when you're on vacation, it's so fun to experience things with the people you love! Get out and do some exploring! I guarantee that you'll make more memories by DOING something than by napping beside the pool! When you plan your days, plan something active each day and then be sure to include some down time/chill time. I've found that that is THE BEST combo for a happy vacation. Plus, being active (hiking, swimming, golfing, basketball, canoeing, etc. etc.) is a great way to burn some of the extra calories that you'll be consuming.
In California, we went hiking in the canyons for about 3.5 hours and it was not only a killer workout, but it was my favorite part of our trip because it allowed us 3.5 hours without any distractions to connect and talk. It was lovely! If we had just been laying by the pool for that time, we would have fallen asleep, been on our phones, etc.
I also love to get a longer, more leisurely workout in on vacation. I think it's fun to check out the gym at the hotel, or try some yoga outside in a new location, or just TAKE MY TIME with my workouts. And because we rarely get to workout together at home, it feels like a treat. Again, it's that quality time together.
2. Plan your treats.
Just like I advise when you're home, a plan makes everything go smoother. Go into each day with some sort of plan for what treats you'll be enjoying. Are you taking the kids for ice cream? Having wine by the fire? Making tacos for dinner? You probably have some idea of what the next day will be like, so take inventory of what indulgences you will have and stay clean the rest of the time. Remember too, the more sugar you have, the more you will want it. So I like to try to keep my dessert treats towards the end of the vacation. If I start out by having dessert and a cocktail on the first night, I find that it's much harder to get back on track because my body is asking for sugar.
What's a good number of treats per day? Well, that's up to you and your goals, but I personally try to limit it to something that's a bit outside my normal eating (a latte from Starbucks, for example) and then one thing that's REALLY outside of my normal eating. That would include a trip to the dessert bar on our recent vacation (#worthit). But I try really hard not to order a cocktail, deep dish pizza, nachos, and cheesecake in one meal. Know what I mean? Plus, guys, eating all of that crap in one sitting = nausea, indigestion, and tiredness. That's not fun.
3. Assess, but don't obsess.
Something that was really helpful for me on this trip was the dialogue between my husband and me about how we were enjoying our food, and more specifically, how we felt after each meal. This helped me keep the question "How will I FEEL physically after eating this" in the front of my brain, which helped me make better decisions. When you feel really great, you really don't want to jeopardize that by eating junk, you know? So we were constantly assessing whether a cocktail or dessert or whatever it was would make us FEEL good or not. For example, one day I was by the pool and really wanted an icy sweet cocktail. But I didn't want to FEEL sluggish and tired. So I ordered a virgin version and it was perfect. And I didn't need a nap!
However, feeling guilty about every treat and misstep you have is just not fun. And it's not fun for the people around you. No one wants to hear you lament about the brownie you had and how guilty you feel about it. So if it's going to give you that much trouble, just say no ;)
4. Keep doing what you're good at.
In your normal non-vacation life you are really good at some health and fitness habits. Maybe it's that you CRUSH your water every day. Or you get loads of veggies in. Or you are an awesome carb cycler. Whatever it is, KEEP IT UP!!! There is no reason not to do the things that are working for you just because you're on vacation. Those things help you to FEEL your best, and you certainly want to keep feeling your best while on vacation.
One of the things I'm really good at is getting up and getting going in the morning. And so while in California, we got up early every morning and got our workout in. Followed by coffee at a leisurely pace. No need to sleep until 9 just because we could, when I know that that doesn't really feel good to me.
5. Water water water
Water is important ALWAYS, but especially on vacation when you're having more treats than normal (and likely more alcohol too). Water will serve to detox your body and help stave away hangovers. Not to mention that water is a natural appetite suppressant so it can be handy for keeping the treats at bay. Bring a cute water bottle with you and carry it everywhere!
I hope these tips are helpful for you in navigating your health and fitness goals AND enjoying vacation. In my next post I'll talk about what to do when you come home!