Although my recent trip to Las Vegas certainly wouldn’t be classified as a good example of how to lose (or even maintain) weight while vacationing, the trip inspired me to write a blog post about how not sabotage all your diet and fitness efforts while on vacation. A coworker of mine who purchased P90X and Shakeology from me recently had to go out of town to visit family for a little over a week as a result of a family emergency. Knowing that she would be tempted to skip workouts and eat unhealthy Southern cooking, she came to me and asked for some advice. I was more than happy to give her some pointers and was even happier when she came back from her trip feeling good and having actually lost weight while she was there! Here are some of my tools for keeping weight off on vacation:
1) Plan to work out extra the week before you leave. Kowing that I would miss two big workout days while in Vegas, I front loaded my week. I got in four P90X workouts (no Yoga unfortunately) as well as a swim, bike and a long run (9 miles) prior to leaving. It was definitely tiring, but I knew that I’d feel much better in a bikini at the pool on Saturday!
2) Pack your own snacks. Although it’s difficult to eat healthy for most meals on vacation (and plus, you’re on vacation – you deserve to enjoy a good meal for all your hard work), you can fill in the gaps with healthy snacks. Pack portable snacks such plastic baggies with 1/4 cup almonds (170 calories), protein bars and hard fruit (apples, oranges). These come especially handy in airports, where junk food is abundant and boredom can drive you to snack on buttery pretzels and sugary candy. The morning that we left for Vegas I did my workout and had a healthy breakfast, then had almonds in the airport before we boarded the plane. I also had a protein bar after my salad lunch at the pool when we arrived because my salad was far too small. Had I not had backup, I may have had to order another entree! I also brought two apples which I ate in the hotel room both mornings while we were getting ready for the day.
3) Bring workout gear. Even if you aren’t sure that you will be able (or want to) work out, it’s alwasy good to have clothes on hand in case the opportunity presents itself. Obviously I didn’t get any workouts in during my trip to Vegas, but I did get a cardio fix with hours of dancing!
4) Plan fun active activities. If you are camping, be sure to go for an extra long hike. If you in a tropical location, book a kayak or horseback riding tour. Many resorts or foreign towns are now offering yoga classes. What could be more awesome than a yoga session on the beaches of Thailand? Although you many not get your normal sweat inducing cardio in, you can still burn plenty of calories having plenty of fun!
5) Start your meal with soup. It has been proven that people that start their meal with a cup of soup (try to go for a broth based soup) eat less total calories per meal.
6) Start drinking after dinner. This one is alwasy hard, but you are far less likely to overeat if you are sober. At the very least, have your beverage with dinner rather than before. Pre-dinner cocktails will lead to post-dinner belly ache (believe me, I experienced this in Vegas).
7) Don’t sweat the small stuff. You’re on vacation. Although you don’t want to sabatoge all your hard work, at the end of the day, you aren’t going to put on 10 lbs in a weekend (I’ve heard of it happening on a two week vacation though, so watch out!). My personal motto is that I always order what I want for dinner on vacation and I always have dessert if I want it (which I always do). I don’t count calories, decline an alcholic beverage because of its effect on my waistline and I most certainly don’t skip the bread basket. I work so hard the rest of the year and I deserve to have fun without regret.
In the end, if you go on vacation, pig out and lay on the beach all weekend, don’t get too upset over it. Just jump back into your normal routine when you get back. You could even do something like the Shakeology Cleanse when you get back to jump start your weight loss efforts.