Avoiding the Vacation Flub By Tricia Wasielewski
Everybody loves a good vacation, including myself. We look forward to relaxing, getting away from work and chores, eating and drinking all the delicious things, and doing fun activities. BUT, no one wants to pack on a bunch of weight while they’re off their normal routine. So what do you do to avoid the weight gain?? Here are some of my tips for staying on track when you’re out of town:
1. Be prepared and pack your food! If possible, pack a cooler with drinks, healthy snacks, and things that you can eat while you’re there. My go-tos are sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, and broccoli with low fat ranch dip, sandwiches on whole wheat bread, fruit (especially watermelon in the summer), and popcorn. Pick out some fun drinks like la croix or crystal light as well! Staying hydrated is half the battle! Constantly drinking water can help you stay less likely to crave a big meal. If you’re unable to pack a cooler, but you have access to a refrigerator in the place you are staying, plan a grocery trip when you get to the location so that you can stock up on some healthy options!
2. Make healthy choices at restaurants Going out to eat is part of the fun of traveling and everyone is bound to have at least one meal out and about. Try to focus on loading up on vegetables and protein as much as possible! Avoid items that are fried, sautéed, or cooked in creamy sauces, and aim to order things that are steamed, baked, broiled, or grilled. Grilled fish, chicken, and lean steaks are always great options when eating out.
3. Find a CrossFit gym near you! CrossFit is everywhere! Plan ahead and look up some gyms in the area you are staying in and email ahead of time to find out drop in prices and procedures. You can also look it up or ask around when you get into town and go check them out. It’s fun to see how other gyms operate, and I have found that the CrossFit community everywhere is super welcoming and loves having visitors! This way you can feel less guilty about nutrition splurges if you’re getting in a great workout beforehand!
4. Do a travel workout in your hotel room or gym. There are TONS of things you can do without a gym or with very little equipment. Think of all the body weight movements we do at our gym: burpees, air squats, lunges, pushups, bench dips, side lunges, planks, situps, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jogging etc. You can do these movements anywhere! Check out this link for some good travel workouts you can do at your hotel- https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4jfoB31mjXDOGtNUk12YkFreFE
5. Explore! Take time to explore the area you’re staying in. If possible opt to walk around the town rather than using an uber or taxi. Oftentimes, you’ll find a lot of restaurants and shops you never would have found otherwise. AND as an added bonus, you’re burning off extra calories.
6. Get outside and be active! Piggy backing on the last tip, have some fun and do some activities on vacation! Hike a mountain, run the beach, go water skiing or wake boarding, tube the river, rent paddle boards or kayaks, etc. That way you’re doing something fun and getting some exercise as an added benefit!
7. Splurge a little! Vacations are few and far between these days and ultimately you should enjoy yourself and leave no regrets. Eat that piece of cake, have that margarita, fill up on pasta, or drink mimosas with breakfast! Stay active and make sure to have some “free meals.” That means eating that meal totally guilt FREE. Eat, enjoy, savor the experience, then MOVE ON. That’s what vacation is for! 🙂
8. Have a plan to get back to your normal routine It is super helpful for me to have my first meal back planned so that I don’t panic and go out to eat when I get home. It should be something that you look forward to! Make sure that first meal sets you right back into your heathy eating routine and helps get you ready to get back to the gym!
That wraps up my list of vacation nutrition tips! Just know that the weekend, week, or however long you are away is a very small portion of your life in the grand scheme of things. If you gain a pound or two while away, it’s not the end of the world. Know that you have a plan when you come back home to get back into your routine and back on track in no time!
NASM CPT, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, AFAA Group
Exercise B.A. University of Georgia