Monday, August 19, 2013

Enjoy Your Vacation But Avoid The Fitness Setback

I returned yesterday from a 7 day trip to Disneyworld.  The last time I went to Disneyworld I only went for 4 days but I gained 8 pounds!  I was determined not to gain as much weight this time. 

Although it is a vacation and you might not be as active or follow your fitness routine, you should not accept that you will gain weight.  It might happen but you shouldn’t just accept it as something that has to happen.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to enjoy yourself and eat delicious and maybe even a little indulgent food, but know there are limits. Also, just because it is vacation doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. 

Here are my tips to help avoid/reduce weight gain while on vacation:


Tip 1: Fit in fitness! There are tons of activities to do for fun that burn calories. Go on walks, hikes, runs, play golf, tennis or go swimming, kayaking or biking just to name some. Go have fun!


Vacation tip #2: Bring healthy snack foods. Airports and rest stops don't have very many healthy food options. Although they might have some, they are few and far between and harder to choose when there are more tempting options. Pack snacks like almonds, a piece of fruit, cut up veggies, protein bars, and sandwiches to name a few. If you have the room, if traveling by car, bring a cooler and you can bring things like yogurts and cheese sticks too!


Vacation Tip #3: Eating Out.  While eating out don't go overboard every night. Indulge a few times but not every time. Stay away from fried foods most of the time. Only have dessert once or twice. Or split your dessert with one or more people.

Another idea is to go with the smaller version-- a scoop of ice cream rather than a sundae.

One of the most important in my mind is to never, ever go to out to eat when starving! Always have a small, healthy snack beforehand.


Vacation Tip #4: Rent a house, cottage or hotel suite with a kitchen. You don't have to cook all the meals. After all, you are on vacation. But eat some breakfasts in the room (but not all breakfasts because I LOVE to go out for breakfast) and lunch is an easy meal to either eat in the room or pack and put in the cooler for the beach or trail. Shakeology is a great option for breakfast or lunch.

Aim to eat as healthy as you can for 2 meals of the day so that you can splurge a little on the third meal.


Vacation Tip #5: Pack resistance bands. They are light and travel easily. You can do a quick 10-15 minute workout and hit all the major body parts. The tough part will be unpacking them...sort of like when I bring work home at night and it never makes it out of my bag. But seriously, if you want to avoid weight gain while on vacation this is an easy one to do.


Vacation Tip #6: Need motivation to fit in fitness on vacation? Get an audiobook. While we were in Maine last year I wanted to finish an audiobook I was listening to so I got up most mornings and went for a run/walk along the Marginal Way. It was so relaxing and peaceful. I was able to enjoy it before it got crowded with people midday. 


Vacation Tip #7: If you are going to imbibe while on vacation don’t overdo it. And drink plenty of water in between your Pina Coladas and Mai Tais!


So how did I do?  I did gain weight, but only 4 pounds and some of that may be normal fluctuations.

 I did watch what I ate most of the time and I went to the fitness center to run twice and I did yoga three mornings.  While at the parks we did tons of walking and I went to the pool a few afternoons.  It may not have been laps but I was playing with a preschooler, not lounging sipping a pina colada (which does sound relaxing). 

Eating health was not that difficult.  I brought my own protein drink – Shakeology and a blender cup.  I had a shake for breakfast once and then I had a shake for lunch a few times.  We were on the Disney dining plan so while my husband used points to get lunch I used snack points for a side salad or took his lunch dessert to get a yogurt to go with my shake.  It was enough to satisfy me but left room for my dinners when I wanted to indulge a little.  Many of the table service restaurants had healthy selections and even when they had buffets I was able to fill half of my plate with veggies and then pick lean proteins.  The carbs were my downfall but most of the time I only took small services to sample.  I do wish the kids’ meals were healthier but I did manage to get some fruit and veggies in them! 

We had a fun time at Disneyworld and we succeeded at staying on our health and fitness course!

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