It’s time for everyone to go on summer vacation! A lot of people take advantage of the beautiful weather to go on some type of vacation during the summer months. Maybe you are going to Disney World, off to visit family, a staycation in your own house, or maybe you have family coming to vacation at your house! Make sure you can enjoy your vacation and still lose weight while doing it. Learn how to have your cake and eat it too!
So here comes the ultimate dilema…how do you stay on track with your fitness goals and keep losing weight when you are supposed to be relaxing? Well, here is the shocking truth. Are you ready? It’s super crazy easy! Don’t go off the rails and it will happen on its own! What I mean is that if you don’t go absolutely crazy, then you will still be able to stay on track. Can you still eat amazing food? Yes. Are you going to be able to have fun and relax without tracking your food every second? Yes!
What I want you to focus on when you look forward to your vacation is that you truly want to enjoy it right? I am guessing that you won’t enjoy it as much if you are assuming you will have big regrets after vacation because you gained 10 lbs In two weeks. So here are the five steps I want you to really focus on when you go on a vacation, that will help you keep on track without the stress of feeling like you can’t enjoy it.
Want to Keep Losing Weight? Pregame Your Vacation!
I want you to pregame. Mentally prepare for all the awesomeness that is waiting for you. Set some goals and strategies for your vacation. If you are taking a vacation with anyone, then I want you to take the time to have a conversation. Maybe you set goals together with your spouse, or maybe you just need them to understand your plan so that you don’t have to explain yourself during vacation. Talk about the fact that you are in a better mood and have more energy when you aren’t eating junk food all the time.
Remember how much energy you gain by going for a walk or run in the morning. When you are planning your activities maybe toss in a hike with the kids, go to the lake and swim, or even to a playground where you can run around and play with the kids. Not sure about everyone else, but I promise I get a work out in chasing my 18-month-old up the scary steps and platforms at every playground we visit. There is no shame here, I’m a helicopter parent. If that bothers you then find your own kids to raise! Ha kidding, kinda. But for real it’s a workout trying to stop the baby from taking a swing to the face.
Plan some activities that are fun but still keep you active. If you are doing any kind of traveling, then the time to move your body and loosen up your sore muscles will probably be an amazing opportunity for you and the kids.
Make a Plan so that You Can Relax Without the Guilt
Trying to lose weight, or even just focus on healthy habits does not have to mean starving yourself and spending all day at the gym. Just set some goals to follow.
It’s much easier to follow a goal that adds to your daily habit, rather than to limit and restrict yourself the whole time. You can drink plenty of water and reach your goal much easier then you can cut out sugar for your entire vacation.
For our upcoming vacation, I already know that there are some amazing foods that will be consumed. I can’t wait to enjoy some soft serve Ice Cream, and if anyone has ever been to Upstate NY then you understand when I say an unreasonable amount of Jreck Subs will be consumed. So my goals will be laid out before the trip even starts so that I don’t waste half of the vacation feeling guilty about my choices. I will have a plan to not only enjoy my vacation but to be happy with my choices and how I feel afterward.
Take Your Vitamins With You
This seems silly and not that important. But, if you take any kind of supplements, vitamins or powders on a daily basis, you probably don’t need to throw your body off for a week or two by never giving it the nutrients it is used to. Especially when you can reasonably assume that your vacation eating habits will probably contain a lot less spinach and kale. If you normally take your vitamins in the morning, pack them and take them in the morning wherever you are vacationing. It will keep your body geared up and ready to go. It’s also great for you mentally to start your day out with a baseline of nutrition that helps you make a good choice.
Maybe you usually have a protein drink every day. Put a few scoops in a sandwich bag and take some with you. Chances are you can find some almond milk at some point to get some extra protein in. If not? Well, suck it up buttercup. Mix it with water and pound that protein like you are 19 and in college shotgunning a Natty Ice again. If you are trying to lose weight, then protein is super important to help your body function. You will fee full longer and be less likely to binge on junk food.
This is not a hugely time-consuming task that will ruin your vacation, but it will help you maintain your normal energy levels so you can live it up!
Drink Your Water!
Drink water! I can’t tell you how many times we have either had company over to visit or have gone somewhere else and the first thing to fly out the window is water. Seriously I will be dehydrated for two weeks and wonder why I’m tired and have a headache. I have my Nalgene water bottle and I know that every day I have to drink 3 of them. It’s a lot easier to track it when it’s not in whatever glass or cup you can find, it’s cheaper than bottled water, and it’s a set number that is small enough to pay attention too. If I had to refill my bottle 8 times a day, there is no chance I would actually remember how much I drank.
Get yourself a decent (large) water bottle, take your weight in lbs, divide it by 2 and then drink that many ounces of water every single day! Chances are you will be busy and having fun. You will need water to keep up and not get worn out or sick. There may be some alcohol involved, ridiculous amounts of sugary coffee or soda. Drink your water first and always.
Tips to Drink Enough Water
I usually fill up my water and take all of my vitamins in the morning while making my breakfast. I always get sick if I take them on an empty stomach so it’s easy to remember if it’s part of my morning routine when I make breakfast. It gets me drinking water first thing in the morning and gives me a head start on my intake. Honestly, if we are at the pool or super busy and in the heat, I might try to drink an extra bottle of water. If I’m almost done with my water by 3 or 4 in the afternoon then my body obviously is needing more because I have been thirsty!
If you have ever been in the military then you know what it’s like to have a forced water requirement. Maybe you have been to a southern base and seen those scary pee charts they put on the bathroom stall doors that tell you how much danger you are in based on the color of your pee. Seriously if you are in that orange-brown category you are in trouble! If you are thirsty, there is a good chance you are already dehydrated.
Exercise! Burn Calories, Lose Weight
Okay, hear me out before you blow this one off. I am not talking about going to the gym for two hours a day. By all means, if that is your jam then go get it, if not, then just take 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be insane. Go for a walk with your family, by yourself, through the woods, or around your yard. Just go be active. If you want to lose weight and maintain your healthy habits then you need to make time for it.
We are stuck in a tiny apartment right now with no yard to speak of. My husband and I spent over an hour kicking a soccer ball back and forth and playing with our girls in the two feet of grass we have next to our concrete retaining wall. Should I have worn sneakers to avoid bruises on my feet and broken nails? Probably, but I was enjoying time with my family and still getting some exercise in.
Get Moving if You Want to Lose Weight
Go for a run down the road for 30 minutes. You can sit on the floor and pull up a yoga video on your phone and get it in. Whatever you prefer, but stay active. You will get your awesome exercise mood boost, and you will have more energy. Honestly when we are busy and on vacation, I tend to check my Fitbit and realize that I can hit 10k steps a day without any exercise. We are usually super busy and again, chasing the kids around, so keeping moving is not a struggle. Whenever we get the chance to go on a vacation just my husband and I, exercise will have to be a more prominent goal because there will probably be a lot more relaxing on the beach!
Now, meeting your Fitbit step goals, if you have one, is great. But, still, try to get 30 minutes in a day of intentional exercise. Especially if you try to do it in the morning then you will probably exceed your steps for the day and you know what that means? More calories burned! Always a great thing! Alright, exercise got it? Moving on!
Make Smart Choices Some of the Time
You heard me right, some of the time. So what I mean is that if you know you are going out to eat for dinner, get the dessert and enjoy it, but maybe for lunch that day you had a salad knowing that dinner would be heavier. If you are going to be drinking and hanging out with friends all night long then maybe you went for an extra walk earlier in the day. When you are having fun, enjoy it. When you have some downtime make some wise choices. If we are having a campfire and s’mores later on (one of my absolute favorite things,) then maybe I don’t need to eat that entire sleeve of Oreos as my lunch.
I am not asking you to cut out all of the fun things, but you also don’t need to eat junk 24/7 and in large quantities, just because it’s a vacation. You will enjoy the special things so much more if you are still being reasonable. Eat when you are hungry, don’t eat just because no rules apply on vacation. If you go absolutely crazy all of the time, you will feel crappy, bloated, and tired. Make some healthy choices and limit yourself some of the time so that you can enjoy and indulge for the rest of it.
Vacation Well and Return Happy, maybe Lose Weight While You’re at it!
I want you to follow some of these guidelines, not because you are obsessed with losing another two lbs. I want you to set some goals and follow these guidelines because you have priorities. Maybe you want to be eating healthier or maybe you do want to lose weight. The point is, it is soooo easy to fall into an emotional low after vacation. Something you have been excited about and looking forward too is over. You feel guilty and upset now because you have to restart your routine and work on all the progress you lost while enjoying yourself.
Have you always been focused on your health and wellness? Probably not. You need to recognize that when you make something a priority in your life and change your daily habits, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on vacation, but it does mean that you can learn to vacation a bit differently. If your goal is to lose weight, or even just to lead a healthy active lifestyle, then you can still have fun on vacation and drink water every day. You can still go out to dinner and also go for a walk after dinner to watch the sunset.
Daily Habits are Still Daily even on Vacation
If you have health and fitness goals that are important to you, then it is worth a few minutes of time to acknowledge them. If you want to lose weight, then it super important to continue your healthy daily habits. It’s also far to easy to forget the rules and when vacation is over with, you never pick back up your healthy habits. When you go backward in your routine you are going to face the big mental struggle that people usually have whenever they have to start over. It sucks guys. To feel like you let yourself down or that you worked so hard to throw away all of your hard work on ice cream and s’mores.
Eat the ice cream and the s’mores!!! Enjoy a vacation and enjoy your life, but make your day reflect the changes that you want to see in your lifestyle and priorities. It’s okay to still keep working at something on vacation. It is okay to spend part or some of your summer still trying to reach your goals. If you would like to read this it might help you learn how to balance your summer for work and fun. I am more relaxed on vacation when I know I am not getting off track.
Learn to vacation in a way that supports your lifestyle and your goals. If you want to get some weekly motivation and updates when new articles are posted then fill out the form below. You can also gain free access to my resource library. Feel free to share or pin this on Pinterest so you have it as a reference down the road!