Healthy Living: What to do about vacation

I am writing this post coming off of a trip where I packed running gear but never touched it.

It has been three years since I moved into “maintenance” mode with my weight loss, and even though I rarely talk about it on the blog anymore, there are definitely some habits I practice at home and when I’m away so that I can avoid the kind of weight gain/destructive behaviors that would undo my hard work.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to talk a little bit more about what healthy living looks like for me today and share what has continued to work for me.

Today’s workshop topic?  Surviving vacation.  How do I generally try to stave off situations like That One Time We Went To Lubbock And I Gained 5 Pounds But OMG It Was Worth It?

I try to keep my breakfasts and lunches as “normal” as possible.
By that, I mean that I try to respect what my regular number of calories for those meals would be.  I try to balance them (protein-fiber-fruits/vegetables) in the same way that I would at home.  Does that all go out the window if we end up visiting The Best Brunch Spot?  Sure.  But on the whole, I feel better and my day goes better if those things stay on point.

I move.  When I say “move” that is a really broad term.  Do I pack my running gear?  Yes.  Do I run every day?  No.  Sometimes I pack my running gear and I don’t run once.  Our Derby trip would be a great example of that.  The weather for running was great, but our hotel was surrounded by chain link fences and barbed wire.  Running was not going to happen.  If I don’t have the chance to do dedicated cardio, I do try to fit in my regular 20 minute yoga session or some push-ups and core work.  And if all else fails, there’s always walking.  Marcus and I do tons of walking while we’re on vacation – to museums, restaurants, the works.  We’re happy to drive and take cabs, but it’s a more personal way to see a city.

Only Eat the Best.    When it comes to that dinner I have been dying for (AKA the “splurge” meal), I always try to pick regional specialties or foods that I know I will never see again!  It makes for a more memorable meal and is certainly more satisfying than the burger I could order back home.

I track my calories.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  When you are on vacation, you lose your mind a little bit.  Gas station junk food you would never give a second glance to at home suddenly looks appealing.  If you’re still tracking your calories/what you’re putting into your body, you won’t buy and eat that candy bar.  Also, tracking my calories gives me a sense of perspective.  If I know I’ve overdone it/by how much, I have a better idea of how to get back on track once I get home.  It also puts splurges into context – was that dinner the equivalent of a regular meal+snack?  Or was that the same as eating two meals?

Hydration is everything.  I never, ever drink as much water when I’m on vacation as I do when I’m at home.   It’s not nearly as convenient, and usually, I end up drinking more non-water beverages (i.e. alcohol) when we’re out-of-town.  The more H2O I can down, the better.

Do you have any vacation strategies for feasting and moving?

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2 responses to “Healthy Living: What to do about vacation

  1. The Chardonnay Kitchen

    I prefer my vacation calories to be pure alcohol.

    Kidding, but these are excellent tips. I’m 100% with you on skipping the bland and saving up for the big, local, can’t-get-anywhere-but-where-we-are meals/experiences.

  2. I love this post on so many levels. I wrote a post – oh my, was it two years ago?! – about staying healthy on vacation. I tend to assume that I’m going to gain 5 lbs on vacation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I was surprised when I actually *lost* 2 lbs, so I had to analyze it.

    I agree with every single point you’ve listed here. And actually, I’d forgotten to incorporate a couple in my last few trips, so it’s a great reminder! Thank you!

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