How to Stay Lean During Summer Vacation
The summer vacation. As American as apple pie. Whether you choose a road trip to the mountains or a relaxing getaway at the beach, it’s the perfect way to give yourself a much needed break from your everyday routine and can be a great opportunity to connect with family and friends. BUT, it can also mean disaster for you good eating habits and exercise routine. Fear not! There’s several easy ways to stay on track during your vacation.
We all know vacation can be a diet killer. Whether we’ve indulged in rich foods at a resort or snacked on salty fast food during a road trip, we often end a vacation feeling bloated, sluggish, and guilty. But, post-vacation diet remorse doesn’t have to happen! After years of making the mistake of binging during vacation, I finally figured out a few simple rules that help keep my diet on track when I travel.
1. Keep your breakfast and snacks (and maybe even lunches) on point.
Anyone that’s traveled with me knows I always pack a big Ziploc bag (or two) of easy, healthy foods. These are just a few of my favorites:
- Single serve PLAIN instant oatmeal or cream of wheat packets
- Single serve Growing Naturals protein powder packets (great for mixing with oatmeal for a healthy breakfast)
- Travel friendly fruits like bananas, apples, grapefruits, and oranges
- Unsalted nuts
- Protein bars (make sure they are low in sugar!)
- Homemade snack mixes
- Single serve peanut butter packets or hummus with celery
2. Have a plan for eating out.
I always research restaurants before I travel. I’ll scope out the menus ahead of time. I find that if I have a strategy before I sit down to order, I make better choices. Look for restaurants that offer vegetable filled plates like salads, wraps, and stir-fries. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter/waitress to put sauces and dressings on the side or to steam vegetables instead of sautéing them in oil.
3. Don’t go overboard on the alcohol.
I know, I know; vacations are a time to let loose. But overindulging in beer or sugar-filled piña colada can spell disaster for your diet. Alcohol contains a ton of empty calories and can often lead to poor diet decision after a night of celebration. Go ahead and enjoy a cocktail, but try not to overdo it.
A lot of us may look at vacation as a much needed break from our daily gym session. Sometimes a break is just what our bodies’ need, but if you’ve worked hard over the past months to achieve your summer vacation body, you don’t want to let it all go to waste over the course of a week or two. No, you don’t have to spend hours in that tiny hotel gym or on your in-laws exercise bike. There are many more options for staying active (and maybe even build some muscle) during your travels:
- Lace up those running shoes. Going for a morning run or walk is not only a great way to get your cardio in, but it also is a fantastic way to check out a new city.
- Pack a resistance band. I NEVER travel without my resistance bands. They fit in any suitcase or bag and provide a great resistance workout when you can’t hit the gym. There are so many ways you can strength train your upper and lower body with this one piece of equipment. Here are few of my favorites. (Check out Pinterest or do an online search for other great ideas)
- Plan activities that work up a sweat. Schedule a bike or walking tour of a city. Go hiking or kayaking. Go snorkeling. Take a lesson in surfing. Just get out and get active!
- Youtube it! Believe it or not, there are a bunch of great Youtube channels for fitness, yoga, and Pilates videos. Do your research ahead of time and find a few good videos that you can do in your hotel room, on the beach, or by the pool.
So go enjoy that vacation, but don’t let that body that you’ve worked hard for disappear in the meantime.
Happy (and healthy) travels!
By: Rachel Yarger, Vegan NPC & NFF Bikini Competitor