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We decided about about 2 weeks ago that we wanted to go on a vacation soon. We love planning spur of the moment vacations and this time is no exception. We are leaving this Sunday for San Diego for 5 days and I can’t wait! I absolutely LOVE to travel!
However, sometimes it’s tricky to stay on track while traveling. You don’t have your own kitchen and food and you’re forced to eat out almost every meal. There are several options you can follow while traveling, you just need to figure out what will work best for you!
- You can track your macros perfectly (or at least the best you can)
- Loosely track but be ok with the fact that you may go over a little bit
- Be mindful of what you’re eating and make good choices but don’t track at all
- Have a free for all and eat whatever you want.
There is no wrong way however, if you follow the free for all, you might have a harder time getting back on track after the vacation is over and the possibility of gaining weight is pretty high. I am going with the third option of being mindful and making good choices but not really tracking what I eat. I will still try to get in a lot of protein and drink lots of water. I want to enjoy my vacation since they don’t come around often enough, but I also don’t want to feel like complete crap the entire time.
The last vacation I took, we went to Disneyland in December. I was pretty good about making good choices and not over indulging. My daughter and I shared meals a lot or I tried to eat like I normally would by ordering lean meats and veggies. I didn’t track but I was very conscious about what I ate for the most part but if I wanted a churro or some ice cream, I had some! I also came back from that vacation and hit a new low weight so you know…. I woke up before everyone most days and got in a workout, either in the hotel gym or went on a run. Also we walked non-stop at Disneyland so that definitely helped.
This vacation is going to be more chill and may be less active overall. I will still get up and get my workout in, either in the hotel gym or going for a run down at the beach. I just don’t feel the same without my workout so I definitely always prioritize that. As far as eating goes, I don’t want to over eat but I probably won’t be tracking. None of us are big breakfast eaters so we always go to the store and get granola/protein bars and yogurt to have in the hotel room for breakfast. We will probably eat breakfast out one day but other than that, we’ll be eating in the hotel room.
If going without tracking completely freaks you out, here are some things you can do to stay on track!
- Plan Ahead- Planning ahead is always the best idea if you want to stay on track. Research restaurants in the area and find out macro friendly foods you can get at each one. You can even go so far as to pre-log your meals into My Fitness Pal.
- Be Realistic- Realize that vacations can be unpredictable and something unplanned will always come up. Be ok with it. One meal, one day or even one week will not undo all of your progress just like one or two healthy meals won’t give you abs. Try to eat good 80% of the time, but realize there is going to be 20% of the time where you may indulge a bit. Don’t let it get out of hand and you’ll be just fine.
- Eat Smart- If you’re at a restaurant and don’t know what to get to help you stay on track, lean meat and veggies or a side salad is always a good choice and is something you can get pretty much anywhere you go. Or if you’re just not sure, share a meal or only eat half! You could even order off of the kids menu which always has much smaller portions. Always look for grilled rather than fried or breaded chicken, and get dressings/mayo etc.. on the side so you can control how much you use. You can even ask the restaurant to prepare your food with less oil/butter to keep your fats under control.
- Eat Protein- Don’t forget to eat your protein. Protein will keep you feeling full longer and will keep you feeling physically better throughout your trip. Order protein with every meal or as much as possible.
- Pack Snacks- Pack some protein bars, raw veggies, fruit and beef jerky or other healthy snacks so you’re sure to grab something healthy if you’re feeling hungry.
- Drink water- Carry a water bottle with you constantly and sip on it all day. Water will also help you feel full and you’ll have less of a desire to snack throughout the day. It will also prevent dehydration which can be mistaken for hunger.
- Exercise- I don’t feel like me if I don’t get my workout in. On vacation you’re probably not going to be able to get quite the same workout in as you would at home but just do something. Go for a walk or run. If your hotel has a gym, use it. If not, ask about a gym in the area and see if you can get a guest pass. Or just head outside and do some body weight exercises or a HIIT workout. You don’t need equipment to workout. Vacations usually involve lots of activity so get out and move. Walk around and see the city. Chase your kids on the beach. Swim. Just stay active.
- Take time to relax- How often do you really relax while at home? Use this as a time to get in some much needed relaxation time. Relaxing is good for your mind and your body and can help you reduce stress which in turn helps aid in weight loss.
- Allow your self some freedom- It’s ok to say yes to dessert on vacation. Sometimes you have to choose memories > macros. Don’t go crazy and have 10 cookies, but one (or two) is ok 🙂 I always enjoy treats when I travel and don’t think twice about it.
- Don’t stress too much and ENJOY your vacation- I’ve gone on vacation and planned to stay perfectly on track the whole time then got there and decided to just take some time off of tracking. That’s ok! The important thing is not to way overindulge and to get back on track when the vacation is over. Don’t use it as an excuse to binge and lose sight of your goals. Don’t stress if you’re not perfect and above all, HAVE FUN!
So what happens if you completely blow it on vacation, overindulge and come back with some weight gain? Go back to counting macros the day you get back. Get back to your regular exercise routine and drink A LOT of water! Some of the weight gain could be actual fat but most likely it’s water. It will take some time for you to drop those pounds, even if it is water, but just stay consistent and before you know it, you’ll feel back to normal. But whatever you do, DO NOT go into a crazy calorie restriction and punish yourself at the gym with hours and hours of cardio. Just go back to what you were doing before vacation and in no time you’ll feel back to where you started.
But above all….have fun and make some amazing memories!