How to stay on track while on vacay
Vacation is not the time to worry about your diet. You should focus on eating "right" 90% of the time when you're at home and in your routine so that a few weeks of the year isn’t going to make much difference. I’m not saying that your holiday needs to be an all out binge, but you shouldn’t be worried about eating out, having fun & gaining a few kegs. Most of the time, that weight you put on is not fat (your clothes getting tighter 5 days into vacay is in your head), it’s water and glycogen and as soon as you get home and back into your normal routine, things are going to return to normal and you won’t even remember those extra kilos (you will however remember the amazing food you tried from different cultures etc.). If eating well is something you love and enjoy, that is cool too, but do not let stress around food affect your holiday. Trust in the fact that you look after your body enough year round that a few weeks of the year of sub optimal eating are going to make absolutely NO difference to your overall health (in fact, enjoying amazing food with loved ones with no stress or guilt is probably going to improve it).
2. Skip the pre vacay shred
This is one of the most important points and something I used to ALWAYS do! About 4 weeks out from a beach based holiday I would embark on some form of ‘pre vacay shred’. “Sorry, can’t I’m shredding” came out of my mouth about 18,000 times during that month. In hind sight, I can see how potentially damaging this can be. For one, it sets up a ‘diet’/ all or nothing mentality. It is also a lifestyle change based solely on the way you look which is damaging in itself. Additionally, a more obvious and talked about point is that extreme dieting in the ‘shred’ leads to feelings of deprivation, which make it all the more likely to binge when you get to your holiday which is precisely the thing we want to avoid. ‘Shredding’ for holidays also encourages yo-yo dieting which is something that can be incredibly damaging to one’s metabolism making it harder to maintain a healthy weight in the future (you can read my post here about why diets make you fat).
So what should you do instead? Nothing. Eat reasonably well before your vacay & after your vacay, 90% of the time. Allow yourself to enjoy foods you love in moderation without sweating about it too much. Changing your mindset and getting away from the ‘diet’ is everything and will see far greater results then any ‘pre vacay shred’ ever will.
Moving on holiday is a big one. I personally don’t struggle with this one as exercise and gymming (is gymming even a word? Unsure but let’s run with it) is something I genuinely enjoy. Checking out foreign overseas gyms and all their different equipment etc is pretty much a tourist activity for me haha (freeeak). I certainly don’t stress about it if it doesn’t happen but I try to do something when I can. If your idea of a holiday is staying as far away from the gym as humanely possible that is completely fine, just move! Walk instead of getting a taxi where possible. Walking is a great way to effortlessly incorporate exercise and a great way to see the city that you are in. Bike tours, snorkelling, kayaking or hiking are all great options to accidentally exercise while on holiday so take advantage of these opportunities.
4. Take a good quality multi or greens powders with you
This is something I swear by.
Whenever I am on holiday I always make sure I take a quality greens supplement with me. This is because I know I may not be eating as optimally as I do when at home so this ensures I am getting all of the essential and secondary nutrients my body requires to stay on track. I personally swear by Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff (don’t worry I am not cool enough to be sponsored so this is just my genuine thoughts) Travel can be incredibly draining and in planes we are often exposed to other people’s sickness due to the air-conditioning so this is also a great way to support your immune system. You don’t want to be the battler on vacay that winds up with a cold having to spend a few days in the hotel room, so this is an important one!
5. Skip the bread the start of the meal
Unless bread is reaaally your thing (and if so, by all means, go ahead), then skipping the bread at the start of a meal is a great way to avoid unnecessary food. Bread is pretty much just a filler and I like to save my hunger for the actual meal, so unless it’s been hours since I last ate and I am sitting at hangry level 1000 I will almost always skip the pre-dinner bread. As humans, it is engrained in us to eat everything we are given but this simply doesn’t have to be the case, you don’t have to eat the bread, the sun will still rise tomorrow.
6. Pack your own food for the plane
It’s particularly easy to fall into a mindless eating trap on planes, as food can become an occupier/an activity. I cannot encourage you enough to simply eat when you are hungry and turn down any other meals you are offered. Often, you will be offered far more food than is needed. If you aren’t in it for the long haul, chances are you are going to survive by avoiding the food all together. For longer flights consider packing your own food. As horrifically dorky as this sounds, the food you are given on the plane really is pretty slop. If I am going to eat food that doesn’t make me feel that great, I am going to make sure it is something that I really enjoy, and not just for convenience. Therefore, I’d rather save that sort of food for when I arrive at my destination, & make sure it’s something I love and am really looking forward to. Eating light and good food on a plane, really does improve how you feel at the other end (a statement back by literally no science but more personal experience).
Eat lightly, stay hydrated and avoid coffee or alcohol if you’re on long-haul flights – as these will only dehydrate you further making it that much harder to bounce back when you do arrive.
Don't complicate it! Things I usually take with me on the plane:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Salads, chopped vegetables, frittata (for a long haul)
- Chief Bars
7. Drink lots of water
Traveling can dehydrate you. Staying out in the sun longer than your body is used to can also dehydrate you. When you don't take in enough fluids, it's easy to mistake dehydration for hunger. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can cause you to believe you need food when you just need to drink some water.
8. Lose the guilt
So many people worry about putting on weight on holiday. They are torn between not wanting to get ‘fat’ but also not wanting to be ‘that’ person who is conscious about their eating on holiday and still wanting to have fun. Often this brings about so much internal stress they end up throwing the ‘yolo’ card out there, bingeing, regretting it & putting a damper on their holiday with feelings of immense guilt. Whatever happens on holiday, don’t feel any guilt. It’s a finite amount of time, and you will bounce back shortly after getting home and back into your routine! The stress caused by eating foods can cause more damage to your stress hormones and therefore ability to lose fat, than the actual foods themselves, so stop with the guilt!!