Staying Healthy on Vacation
As summer comes to an end we are all trying to squeeze in as much beach time, vacation time, and relaxation as possible before it’s long gone – ugh, sad already. However, along with all of that relaxing and vacationing tends to come lots and lots of eating and drinking. So many of my clients and friends (and I too can relate) tell me that they struggle with the constant entertaining, parties, trips, and late night hang outs that summer offers. How is it possible to stay on track with a healthy routine when there is just so much celebrating to do?! And how do you let go and enjoy your vacation without undoing all of your hard work?
It comes down to one word: Balance.
Here’s my advice-
You don’t want to deprive yourself so much that you miss out on enjoying your life and your vacation. But, you don’t want to completely give in to unhealthy choices, undo all of the progress you have made, and create bad habits. So, how do you find that healthy balance?
Choose your indulgences carefully.
Choose your indulgence each day. If you are super excited about the Kilwin’s ice cream you’ve been waiting all year to eat (oh wait, is that just me?), make that your indulgence for the day and stick to a healthy routine otherwise. If you are planning on having a few adult beverages that evening, keep your food healthy, and allow yourself a few drinks (responsibly, of course). If a burger and fries are calling your name at your favorite restaurant, great, just skip the ice cream afterwards. Make mindful choices, and stay on your normal, healthy routine the rest of the day.
Stock up on the good stuff.
If you can be in control of the food on vacation, take advantage of that and bring healthy food with you, or go shopping when you get there. Make sure the snacks you bring are good and the fridge is stocked with healthy options. Use your grill, make yummy recipes, and take control of your meals and snacks while you are away. Bring snacks to keep in your bag while traveling so you don’t have to rely on stopping anywhere and grabbing something unhealthy. Be proactive, plan ahead, and set yourself up for success.
Let’s talk about drinking.
Drinking happens, let’s be honest. If you choose not to indulge at all, more power to ya, that’s a great choice. If you know that for you, vacation = day drinking, and night drinking, then let’s talk about a plan. First, moderation, try not to go overboard at all. Choose a number of drinks for the day and cap it there (that number should be a very low number, just to clarify). Next, choose your drink carefully. When talking about quality and calorie content of drinks here are a few tips. 1) The clearer the drink, the better. The best drink you can have - calorically speaking- is a very big glass of seltzer and ice with fresh squeezed lemon/lime and a little bit of clear liquor (like vodka or tequila). There are fewer additives, less sugar, and it keeps you more hydrated along the way. 2) Stay away from sugary drinks. They are filled with empty calories and added sugars that you don’t need, and they tend to make you feel gross the next day. 3) Quality matters when it comes to beer. Try to find a local, craft beer wherever you are rather than a mass produced or imported beer. There tend to be less preservatives and better ingredients in the local brews. 4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Always drink water and stay hydrated. After you have a drink, drink a big old glass of water. 5) Moderation, again. Nothing good comes from over indulging. Find the balance of enjoying a drink or two, but stopping while you’re ahead.
Keep working out.
Back to balance we go. When your diet is not exactly what you want it to be, rely a little more heavily on your workouts to keep you in check. Don’t slack on the workouts just because you are on vacation. Some of my all time favorite workouts have been done in the early morning on a beach on vacation with my husband sprinting by my side (well, let’s be honest, probably behind me. Kidding J) when neither of us felt like getting out of bed to go workout. We are always so happy that we worked out, sweat out whatever late night indulgences we had the night before, and tipped the scale back towards balanced for the day ahead. When you start your day with a workout, it tends to jumpstart that snowball effect for the rest of your day to keep you on track and in a healthy mindset. Even when you don’t feel like, get up, go workout, and get sweaty.
Here’s a really fun beach workout that we have done many times on vacation:
Start with 10 reps of each exercise, do a sprint up and back from a designated distance, then do 9 reps of each exercise, sprint, 8 reps of each, sprint, and so on until you finish 1 rep of each exercise and 1 final sprint.
Skiers (on each side)
- Enjoy your vacation and remember, it’s all about balance!