Don’t Let Your Vacation Ruin Your Fitness Regimen or Your Diet

Posted by Ash K on Friday, May 24, 2013 3

You’ve been working non-stop for what seems like ages, and now the long-awaited day of your vacation has arrived. It’s time to kick back and relax—and throw your diet by the wayside, right? No. Stop that.
Don’t let your vacation ruin your fitness regimen or your diet. You’ve been keeping up with your responsible diet and your fitness regimen, but now that you’re packing, you’re starting to worry that you’re going to dive right back into your old unhealthy habits, meaning no exercise and greasy foods at every meal.
The Secret to Keeping Your Vacation on Your Side
The secret to keeping your vacation on your side is to plan ahead, find out where at least a few of the things you absolutely want to do or to see are. That doesn’t, however, mean you have to sacrifice spontaneity. I know that one of the best parts of taking a vacation is exploring the area in your free time. The key is to make sure that you have some free time and that you’re not stressed out.
Ways to Maintain Your Fitness Regimen and Your Diet
1. Stay somewhere low-key. I hate the hustle & bustle of staying a fancy hotel. So, before I travel anywhere, I check out the area to look for some quieter spots (I love travel blogs for this very reason). When my wife and I took a trip out to Florida, we found the perfect bed and breakfast in Key West. Compared to the rest of the Key, the bed and breakfast was the perfect relaxing home base for our vacation. We met a few like-minded travelers poolside, and that helped us stay out of the room all day.
2. Start with healthy foods. I may stumble on a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that offers red-sauce-slathered enchiladas and decide I absolutely must eat there, and I absolutely must get two plates of enchiladas, but I always begin the day with something sensible. Our bed and breakfast offered a continental breakfast—and that’s pretty much standard wherever you go—so I stuck with healthy options like fresh fruits, tomato juice, eggs, and low-fat yogurt with a bit of granola to add to the texture. For longer trips—when you’d get bored of that—switch in some whole-grain cereals, lean ham, or oatmeal. Avoid the empty calories of pancakes and waffles, and the fats-and-sugars-heavy muffins, and stick to healthy foods instead, so that as you go throughout your trip, you can keep yourself from blowing your diet at every meal.
3. Be flexible. I say this with both your food and fitness in mind. When it comes to food, don’t be afraid to splurge on a heavier food for dinner. And don’t be afraid to request a lower fat option: if you’re getting a three-egg omelet, get egg whites-only on two of those. You’ll keep the taste and lower the fat. With your fitness regimen, it’s incredibly easy to give it up entirely since you’re nowhere near your gym, but if you’re flexible, you can get the exercise elsewhere. Walk around to get to know the area. That’s how you really find the best spots anyway. Or, rent a bike and get some serious exercise in the afternoon. If you like to take pictures, hike up into the foothills and get a bird’s eye view. Don’t worry that you’re not lifting weights in the gym (unless you’re a professional bodybuilder, in which case you’ve surely made alternative arrangements): you can a serious workout by going wakeboarding, kayaking, or just swimming in the hotel pool. Or, in the privacy of your own room, churn out a few sets of pushups, squats, lunges, and burpees—none of which requires anything but your body.
4. Snack, and snack healthy. I gorge myself at night if I haven’t eaten well during the day, especially if I’ve been traipsing around my vacation destination in the hot sun all day. Bring some home-made trail mix or granola (the store-bought stuff has too much sugar) to keep yourself energized and out there exploring until you’re ready to come back to home base for lunch. Or, in a pinch, grab a protein bar (like Clif’s).
5. Stay hydrated. If you stay hydrated, you won’t feel like you have to eat, and when you do eat, you’ll be less likely to binge.
6. Use the mini-fridge, not the mini-bar. Don’t load up on candy bars, candied nuts, and booze (a cocktail or glass of wine is fine with dinner, but at 2 pm while you’re watching reruns of The World’s Strongest Man competition, it goes without saying you don’t need that). The mini-fridge, on the other hand, is a wonderful resource. After a long day riding my bike, or running on trails, it’s great to come back to the room, shower, and break out the fixings for a fine sandwich (a Reuben on pumpernickel with low-fat Swiss cheese is more or less perfection, just so you know).
Be Prepared
The Boy Scouts have it right when they talk about the importance of being prepared, and every single thing I’ve talked about here is really about preparation (bringing snacks for while you’re out so you don’t jump into the first fast-food joint you see, starting the day with high-protein, nutritious foods so you can feel okay letting go with a heavier meal later on). If you plan ahead, you can keep your diet and fitness routines intact and satisfy your cravings for something different.
Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch.

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  1. This is so hard to do. Especially when you want to try local food and it consists on a bunch of not so healthy dishes.

  2. I'm not on a diet but I do thing that it can be hard to avoid gaining weight while traveling. I'll follow some of these next time, they might help.

  3. This is amazing and useful information post. I work in Towing Des Monies company. Thanks for sharing. Keep posting.



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